Chennai: Amid a furore, the ruling AIADMK Monday accepted a challenge thrown by arch rival DMK in the Tamilnadu Assembly over criticism of the Central government.
When the Leader of the Opposition M K Stalin, referring to a host of issues that have a link with the Centre like devolution of funds to the State from the Union government, said there were no references critical and condemnatory of the Centre in that regard in the Governor’s address.
Speaking on the debate on the motion of thanks to the Governor’s address, Stalin said if “flute was played” when “war drums should be beaten,” with regard to the Central government it would be construed that the situation was not properly understood (by the State government).
The DMK leader, faulting the government for failure on all the fronts, said the federal structure of governance in India placed both the Central and State governments on the same footing and no room should be given for one to assume a big brother role.
When Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar, intervening said the “story and dialogue,” of Stalin on Centre-State relations were good, DMK members vociferously objected to it with Chief Minister K Palaniswami pitching in saying his colleague was only trying to answer.
Jayakumar asked if during the DMK’s rule between 1996 and 2001 and from 2006 to 2011, the Governor’s address had references condemning the Centre, saying it was not so. Stalin asked the Minister to prove his claim or withdraw it, saying they would prove their stand apparently indicating that the Governor’s address during DMK regime had critical references to the Centre.
When the DMK leader said “this is Assembly and not like giving interviews to the media,” Jayakumar stuck to his line and reiterated that the Centre was not condemned in the customary address of the Governor during the DMK rule.
On the Sterlite issue, when Stalin reiterated his party’s demand that a policy decision be taken to ensure the permanent closure of the copper plant at Tuticorin, the Chief Minister replied that the government was committed to the all-time closure, saying steps were being taken for that. Though the State Pollution Control Board is itself empowered to close the unit, he himself signed a file on the closure of Sterlie, Palaniswami said.