Cong dismisses criticism of Jaya, Modi

New Delhi: Congress on Saturday dismissed the criticism of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and her Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi that the Centre was attempting to weaken the states, saying such a thing was not possible under existing mechanisms.

"There are persons who are in the habit of using extreme phraseology. Chief Minister Jayalalitha is holding a Constitutional post. Should we remind her that there is a Finance Commission to look into allocation of funds to states. "I do not think it is possible to practice discrimination, which some Chief Ministers are in the habit of dreaming of simply because they are in the opposition. It is not appropriate to bring politics into everything," Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.

In her address to the National Development Council meeting here, Jayalalithaa said, "I am not sure that the Government of India recognises the states as partners, leave alone equal partners, and respects their viewpoints…There are attempts by the Centre to weaken the states with too much interference thereby reducing them to the status of glorified municipal corporations."

Modi was equally acerbic as he accused the Centre of "tinkering" with the federal structure and advised the ruling UPA to follow the "federal dharma". " I wish to draw the attention of this august body to attempts being made increasingly by the Central government to tinker with the federal structure mandated by the Constitution," he said at the occasion.