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LDF Parties Hold Rallies, Solidarity Gatherings Condemning ‘Neglect’ of Kerala by Central Govt

The protests saw widespread participation from the supporters of LDF, members of trade unions, youth, women, and student organisations.
 The protests saw widespread participation from the supporters of LDF, members of trade unions, youth, women, and student organisations.

The Left Democratic Front (LDF) parties in Kerala held rallies and street corner meetings across the state in solidarity with the chief minister and the people's representatives protesting against the alleged neglect by the Union government. The LDF members took out rallies and held meetings in front of the local self-government (LSG), condemning the alleged economic strangulation of Kerala. The solidarity gatherings were held in around 1,500 centres simultaneously.

The LDF leaders urged the Union government to end the discriminatory attitude towards Kerala and provide the deserving tax share and pending grants. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government and the United Democratic Front (UDF) were equally criticised for their neglect of the interests of the state. Though the national leadership of the Congress supported the LDF protest in Delhi, the state leadership took the opposite stand and stayed away from the protests.

The government of Kerala has been accusing the central government of reducing the borrowing limits, reducing the tax share to the state, and holding on to grants for centrally sponsored schemes for the financial constraints of the state. The LDF parties visited households and held rallies, and solidarity gatherings on February 8 when the state Cabinet and the LDF members of parliament and Assembly held a protest in Delhi for the same cause.


A K Balan, former minister and central committee member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)], accused the Congress and BJP of working against the developmental aspirations of the state. Inaugurating a solidarity gathering in Palakkad, he said, “The chief minister convened an all-party meeting before the series of agitation programmes to launch a united protest to safeguard the financial rights of the state. Though the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) was willing to participate in the programmes, the Congress leadership prevented them, showing their utter disregard for the demands of Kerala.”

The leaders of the LDF, including from the Communist Party of India (CPI), Kerala Congress (Mani), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Indian National League (INL), Congress (Secular), Janata Dal (Secular) participated in the gatherings.


The LDF government has accused the Union government of unilaterally ending the GST competition and revenue deficit grants despite the COVID-19 pandemic having a telling effect on the economy of the state, which also faced two historic floods in four years. The Union government has also not released grants and aid for several central schemes citing co-branding issues, affecting the implementation of the vital schemes. “While the CPI(M) is protesting seeking financial federalism for all the states irrespective of political aspirations, the UDF has joined hands with the BJP in opposing the demands of Kerala. The Congress government of Karnataka, led by the chief minister and deputy chief minister, had led a similar protest on February 7”, Balan said.

The LDF government has been demanding the time-bound release of funds under central schemes, exclusion of loans of the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) and Kerala Social Security Pension Limited (KSSPL) from public debt, besides honouring the recommendations of the fifteenth finance commission. The government has claimed that the losses to the state amount to Rs 1,07,000 crores between 2017 and 2023 due to the seizure of several aids to the state. “The Union government led by the BJP has been reducing corporate and wealth tax for the benefit of their class colleagues, resulting in the burdening of the working class due to the imposition of indirect taxes. The tax share of states has reduced due to the drastic increase in cess and surcharges which go only to the centre”, Balan added. The protest saw widespread participation from the supporters of LDF, members of trade unions, youth, women, and student organisations.

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