Setback to cooperative federalism

If West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee does not leave any opportunity to settle political scores with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, nor does the Centre (BJP) with Banerjee. Last week, to show her annoyance, she opted out of the meeting to review the cyclone havoc in the state. In a rare violation of the protocol, Banerjee also kept the PM waiting for 30 minutes, met him briefly, and left even while the deliberations and damage assessment was on.
One can understand the bitterness between the political parties during the elections. After a landslide victory in Bengal, the campaign heat has not come down even as the post-poll violence and the vendetta politics continues from both sides.
Bad vibes between some Chief Ministers and Governors are also not something new. West Bengal, Maharashtra, Puducherry and Delhi are shining examples where the chief ministers and the Governors have a running battle. Modi had been talking about cooperative federalism and competitive federalism as well as “Team India”. Cooperative federalism is a concept which reflects the relationship between the Centre and the states where both come together and resolve the common problems. Unfortunately, confrontation has replaced consensus with the growing number of regional satraps. Modi knows that his real challenge comes from the regional satraps.
Politics has trumped economics in India’s story of cooperative federalism. With killer Covid at large, this is the time for the centre and states to work together. For this political parties need to rise above their electoral mindsets and work together. This is no time for ego and playing politics.
Kalyani Shankar
New Delhi