Centre-State Relations

Federalism is the foundational principle of ‘India is a Union of States’. India's fabric of federalism stitched together by mutual trust between the Union and States has been systematically destroyed by the BJP/NDA government. Congress affirms its belief that India cannot be administered by the central government alone. In most matters concerning the daily lives of the people, it is the state government that is close to the people and, in some matters, it is the local government (panchayats or municipality) that is closer to the people.

  1. We will review the distribution of legislative fields in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution and build a consensus on transferring some fields from List III (Concurrent List) to List II (State List).
  2. India is one and many at the same time. Its unity gets strengthened when its diversities are accommodated and celebrated. This has always been Congress' stance and will remain so. Article 1 of the Constitution begins with the words “India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States.” This is the guiding principle of federalism in our country.
  3. Congress will end the duplicitous “cess” raj of the BJP/NDA government to deny states their rightful share of tax revenues. We will introduce a law to limit Union cess and surcharges to 5 per cent of gross tax revenues.
  4. We will instruct the Finance Commission to take into account factors such as demographic performance and tax efforts in determining the shares of states in the devolution of central tax revenues. We will work with state governments to evolve a formula to devolve funds, including a share of GST revenues, directly to panchayats and municipalities.
  5. Taking into account rapid urbanisation, we will amend the laws to grant more executive, financial and administrative powers to the directly-elected Mayor/Chairperson for effective governance in urban local bodies. The administration will be accountable to the Mayor/Chairperson and the Council.
  6. Congress, as the author of the 73rd and 74th Constitution Amendments, will prevail upon the states to implement those provisions in letter and spirit and devolve funds, functions and functionaries upon the panchayat and municipality.
  7. Congress will enhance the role and authority of Gram Sabhas in matters concerning village panchayats. We will enhance the authority of the Gram Sabha in the administration of the following Acts:
    (a.) The Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996.
    (b.) The Forest Rights Act, 2006.
    (c.) The Land Acquisition Act, 2013.
  8. Congress will enhance financial assistance to the Autonomous District Councils in the North Eastern states.
  9. We will immediately restore full statehood to Jammu and Kashmir. We will amend the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution to include the tribal areas of Ladakh.
  10. We will give Special Category status to Andhra Pradesh as promised on 20 February 2014.
  11. We will amend the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991 and declare that the Lieutenant Governor shall act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers of NCT, Delhi on all matters, including Services, except on matters concerning the three reserved subjects.
  12. We will grant full statehood to Puducherry.


The two realities that India faces are (1) that nearly 60 per cent of the people live in rural areas and (2) urbanisation is taking place rapidly. Hence, we have to pay equal attention to rural development and urban development, and provide adequate infrastructure in our villages and towns/cities.


Some issues like livelihoods, housing, water, electricity, habitat, pollution, climate change, transport and disaster management are common to both rural and urban areas.

  1. For rural areas, Congress will pass the Right to Homestead Act, extend the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana to all villages and habitations, and increase the funds to and quicken the pace of implementation of the National Drinking Water Mission.
  2. We will increase the wage under MGNREGA to ₹400 per day. MGNREGA funds and workers may also be deployed to build public assets such as classrooms, libraries and primary health centres.
  3. We will launch an urban employment programme guaranteeing work for the urban poor in reconstruction and renewal of urban infrastructure.
  4. To regulate the mindless expansion of existing cities, Congress will support the construction of a twin city near an existing city but separated by a clear green and no-construction zone between the old and new cities.
  5. To improve urban governance, the Mayor/Chairperson will be directly elected for a fixed term of 5 years along with a Council. Executive, financial and administrative powers will be conferred upon the Mayor/Chairperson. The administration will be accountable to the Mayor/Chairperson and the Council.
  6. Transport facilities and connectivity between rural areas and the nearby town/city will be augmented so that people may live in rural areas and work in urban areas.
  7. Congress will implement a comprehensive plan for multi-modal urban public transport.
  8. Travel/transport will be made safer for women and children, especially in towns and cities.
  9. The menace of stray dogs has acquired alarming proportions. Solutions will be found that will protect humans (especially children) and that are consistent with a humanitarian approach to animals.
  10. We will prevail upon the states to implement the 73rd and 74th Amendment to the Constitution in letter and spirit and ensure that funds, functions and functionaries are devolved upon the panchayats and municipalities.


The North Eastern states within the Union of India represent the pluralism and diversity of India. We are proud that we are a diverse country that is home to many races, religions and languages.

  1. We will assess the infrastructure deficit in the North Eastern states and provide more funds for building infrastructure.
  2. We will support Border Trade and make every effort to increase the volume and value of such trade.
  3. Congress will revive the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in the North Eastern states and make them an effective instrument of local government. We will ensure that more funds are channelised through the ADCs for developmental works.
  4. We will ensure that tea garden workers receive fair wages and other benefits in accordance with the applicable laws and agreements.
  5. The situation in Manipur has gone from bad to worse due to the callous neglect of the BJP/NDA government. Congress will remove the present state government forthwith and heal the wounds between the communities. We will appoint a Reconciliation Commission to bring about a political and administrative settlement that will be satisfactory to all the people of the state.
  6. We will ensure appropriate compensation and redress for the victims and survivors of the conflict in Manipur.
  7. A final solution and agreement will be entered into with the Naga groups on the basis of the preliminary agreement that had been agreed in 2013-14.