Centre-States relations are at low ebb as basic tenets of the Constitution have been disturbed, says D. Raja

Dignitaries at the event releasing the book on Era Sezhiyan’s speeches at the event at Vellore Institute of Technology on Saturday.

Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary D. Raja on Saturday said relations between the Centre and States in the country were at low ebb as the basic tenets of the Constitution, including its federal structure, have been disturbed.

Speaking at the birth centenary celebrations of veteran Parliamentarian Era Sezhiyan organised by the Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) here, Mr. Raja said stalwarts like Era Sezhiyan would have fought in protecting the federal structure of the Constitution.

Along with senior DMK leader Murasoli Maran, Era Sezhiyan was a key person in the formation of the P.V. Rajamannar Committee by the DMK government in 1969, which examined Centre-States relations in a federal setup, envisaging its importance. The country now needs a bold Parliamentarian like him. “If he [Era Sezhiyan] was in good health, he would have joined our communist movement and fought for the protection of the basic tenets of the Constitution,” Mr. Raja said.

Recalling his warning to the Centre on giving away Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka in 1974, he said Era Sezhiyan warned the Centre then that the handover would create new problems in the future. His words have become true today as fishermen in Tamil Nadu are facing problems from the Sri Lankan Navy everyday. He also rightly raised the issue of the war crimes against Sri Lankan Tamils at the end of the Eelam War in 2009. As a result, the issue received national attention, Mr. Raja added.

In his presidential address, K. Viswanathan, Founder-Chancellor, VIT, said Era Sezhiyan was respected both in Parliament and State Assemblies. There was no Parliamentarian in the past 25 years like Era Sezhiyan to raise people’s issues in the Lok Sabha.

“Era Sezhiyan came to VIT in 2011 and stayed with us. We honoured him as a visiting professor of our institution,” he said.

On the occasion, a book on Era Sezhiyan’s speeches was released in the presence of Tamil Nationalist Movement leader Pazha Nedumaran, former Minister H.V. Hande, former Rajya Sabha member T.K. Rangarajan, former AIADMK Ministers C. Ponnaiyan and ‘Dindigul’ C. Srinivasan and VIT vice-presidents Sankar Viswanath and G.V. Selvam.


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