The party said the steps to dismantle the plan panel was "unwarranted, shortsighted and dangerous" even as it cautioned the government against "diluting" the Commission's functions.

"Congress party opposes and condemns the efforts being made by the BJP government in a devious manner characterised by typical subterfuge and doublespeak to dismantle the Planning Commission," AICC Communication Department Chairman Ajay Maken said in a statement.

Terming the move "short-sighted and dangerous", he said that it will have long-term impact on Centre-state relations.

"Any move to rename or restructure is unwarranted in the national interest and must be opposed... It (Congress) cautions the government against diluting the Commission's functions that ensure that socio-economic justice and robust federalism, in the name of reforms aimed at benefiting vested interests and corrupt practices in project implementation," he said.

Senior party leader Anand Sharma said the move has "undermined the federal structure" of the country.

"There may have been shortcomings in the Planning Commission but it also has inherent strains. What the Planning Commission needs is reorientation and not renaming or a political burial," Sharma said.

The former Commerce Minister also reacted sharply to Finance Minister Arun Jaitely's defence of the government's decision to restructure the plan panel and attacked Modi alleging that the decision reconfirms that he a "master of re-packaging and renaming".

"Instead of apologising for the undemocratic and the arbitrary action of the Prime Minister in not consulting the states, or the Chief Ministers, it is astonishing that the Finance Minister is claiming that something great is being achieved.

"It is not constructive federalism but insulting the federal spirit of the Constitution. It reconfirms that the Prime Minister not only lacks vision but it is a master of repackaging and renaming," Sharma said.

Maken alleged that the sudden and unilateral announcement made by Modi during his Independence Day speech to disband the Planning Commission took the nation by surprise.

"The resulting uncertainty in the country has created an untenable situation that has raised fundamental questions on the BJP government's intent and the future of the planned development.

"Today, this announcement was followed by a meeting with Chief Ministers without having had any debates/deliberations
at any forum whatsoever. The aim clearly is to roughshod and hoodwink for political one-upmanship," he alleged.

The strong reaction of the party has come in the backdrop of Congress attacking Modi and his party BJP on previous
occasions for trying to belittle the legacy of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

The move to dismantle the Planning Commission is apparently being seen by the party as an attempt by the NDA to finish off Nehruvian institutions.

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