DMPQ-. Discuss the significance of Cooperative Centre-State relations in fighting against covid-19 pandemic.

history of federal relationship between the states and the centre is fraught with cold indifference at its best and tension and conflict at its worst. It is needless to emphasise that the context of opposing political ideologies and pragmatic orientations has always supplied grounds on which the ruling regime at the centre and governments at the states mount their mutual tensions from time to time. As the history of conflicting rather than cooperative federalism shows, it is the centre that seems to have been intolerant of the state government.

The current series of complaints made by some of the state governments in regard to the centre’s alleged discriminatory approach are sought to be reduced to the level of shrill rhetoric by the centre, which, according to the logic of inconvenient federalism, has no merit. Allegations made by certain ministers in Maharashtra and also the chief minister of Delhi about the unfair treatment meted out to certain states on vaccine distribution, oxygen supply, availability of life-saving medicines, and extra favouring of certain states do not bode well for the health of the citizens as well the institutional health of the republic. The conduct of the leaders of the opposition in states where the ruling party in the centre finds itself in opposition gives credence to such allegations. Their conduct points towards a base tendency of attempts to destabilise the state governments using the current conditions of crisis.

The present situation suggests that one needs to go beyond the framework of cooperative federalism, which is basically based on the act of invoking and promoting participation of centre and the states in achieving the development of the nation as well as regions. The framework of cooperative federalism, thus, is driven by what could be termed as the symbiotic relationship, which would allow both the centre and the states to achieve all-round development of the nation without ignoring the development of the states. For such an equalitarian approach, the centre is expected to adopt a more judicious intervention in the process of solving the problems faced by the states. In the current scenario where some of the states are facing acute shortage of life-saving medicines and oxygen supply, the centre is accused of not acting promptly to meet the demands made by the needy states.

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