Thiruvananthapuram: Slamming the Centre for creating a new Ministry of Cooperation, senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala on Sunday urged secular parties in the country to come together and launch a joint fight against the "move by the BJP and Sangh Parivar to take control" of the key sector.
"This is an unconstitutional and communal move by the Modi-government to gain control of cooperative societies in states such as Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra where the co-operative movement has a strong presence,” Chennithala said.
The senior Congress leader said a delegation of opposition parties should meet the President of India seeking his intervention in the matter.
Chennithala, who is also the former Leader of Opposition in the Kerala Assembly, said the opposition should also seek a legal option into the matter as Cooperative Societies is a state subject in the 7th Schedule via entry 32 of the State List in the Constitution of India.
His statement comes a day after the Kerala government said that it would first try to understand the motive behind the Centre creating the Ministry of Cooperation before taking any action.
"Since cooperative societies are a state subject, it is natural for states to have such a concern," Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Saturday.
Noting that it is a state subject, Vijayan has said there are multi-state cooperative societies, which are not large-scale institutions, warranting a separate ministry.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who was given the charge of the newly-created Ministry, has said the government is determined to make cooperatives and all cooperative institutions more empowered.