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DMK to hold meet on state autonomy; Invites non-BJP leaders

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

Aimed at forming a platform for safeguarding states' rights, its pet theme, the DMK is holding a conference next month on alleged 'assaults' on federalism 'masterminded' by the BJP and seeking participation of leaders opposed to the saffron party from across the country.

The "State Autonomy and Federalism Conference" to be held on August 30 here comes at a time when the DMK has been opposing Tamil Nadu Banwarilal Purohit's district visits terming them as an interference in the state's rights.

Also, various other regional parties have been attacking the for its alleged high-handed approach in dealing with non-BJP ruled states and stressing on the need for a united fight.

"Today, I have no doubt that, together, we will be able to forge a platform of like-minded to safeguard the rights of our states and save federalism...," DMK Working M K said in a letter inviting leaders for the conference.

DMK has been in touch with various non-BJP leaders, extending invitations for the conference.

alleged that in the recent past there had been "a series of calculated assaults, masterminded by BJP and its agents, on the spirit of federalism.

"It is in the true spirit of federal cooperation, secularism and national integrity, I call upon yourself to extend fullest support, presence and participation to the State Autonomy and Federalism Conference," he said in the letter.

He recalled the M Karunanidhi's speech at the meet in March, 1970 emphasising the need for regional autonomy at the state level and a new federal set up at the centre.

DMK today invited and CPI to take part in the conference.

Party met both the leaders in and handed over the invitation from Stalin, party sources said.

When asked if it was an attempt to forge an alliance for the 2019 general elections, DMK Rajya Sabha member T K S Elangovan said the initiative was different from the "third front' mooted by K Chandrashekar Rao.

"The conference is on centre-state issue and attempts by the Centre to take away powers of the states. This is not regarding political alliance," he told

There were so many issues over which the centre was trying to encroach upon the powers of the states, he charged.

Barring a few non-BJP parties which are known supporters of the saffron party, invitations will be extended to all the others, he added.

DMK, a strident supporter of states' autonomy, has been strongly opposing Purohit's visits to various districts and holding meetings with officials there, calling it as an assault on the rights of the state.

The party has been holding black flag protest and even demanded the resignation of the last month during "siege Raj Bhavan" stir, prompting a strong response from the latter.

The governor's office has cited an IPC provision to warn of imprisonment against those "restraining" him from exercising in any manner any of the lawful powers, a move dubbed as "intimidatory" by the DMK.

Purohit has maintained that there was no illegality in his visits and asserted that he would continue with such tours.

The ruling AIADMK and BJP have supported the governor's stand on the issue.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, July 09 2018. 18:40 IST