CHENNAI: Even as rumours abound that the AIADMK, in power in Tamil Nadu, is set to ally with the BJP for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker and AIADMK leader M Thambidurai on Monday sharply criticised the BJP-led Central government for 'ignoring the needs of Tamil Nadu'.
Speaking in Parliament at New Delhi, he highlighted the repeated delays caused by the Centre in releasing funds to the tune of Rs 12,000 crore to Tamil Nadu.
Thambidurai, who has been a vocal critic of BJP once again lashed out at the Centre, charging that despite repeated memoranda being submitted to the Centre, funds from various central government departments have not been released to the state. “Ever since former Chief Minister J Jayalalitha’s death, our pleas have not been heard by the Centre. GST compensation amounting to nearly Rs 7000 crore, Rs 2,109 crores under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, Rs 342 crore for flood management and cyclone relief funds of 15,000 crores are still pending,” he said.
It may be noted that Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, while presenting the State Budget days ago, highlighted dues from the Centre to the State to the tune of Rs 14,508.58 crore.
Amidst loud sloganeering from BJP MPs, Thambidurai said that due to the lack of implementation, most schemes put forth by the Centre had failed to take off in the state. “Is this how a federal government functions? Without money how can a state develop?” he asked.
Requesting the Centre to respect the needs of the State, Thambidurai asked the government to immediately look into inter-state issues, including the proposal to construct a dam at Mekedatu across the Cauvery. “Tamil Nadu’s economy will crash if problems pertaining to Mullaperiyar and Mekedatu Dam aren’t solved right now. Also, the State has been devastated by cyclones like Ockhi, Thane and recently Gaja. I request the Centre to release the due cyclone relief funds to the State,” said Thambidurai.