CHENNAI: The otherwise soft-spoken Congress floor leader KR Ramasamy on Tuesday turned aggressive, though in his own style without raising his voice. But, he incurred the ‘wrath’ of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on many issues. While Panneerselvam accused Ramasamy of engaging in a ‘deviated discussion’ away from the budget to make political charges, Palaniswami contended that the AIADMK government was bold enough to vociferously ask the Centre to fulfil the State’s demands.
Participating in the discussion on the State budget for 2019-20, Ramasamy said the financial position of the State had been degenerating every year with the State government having failed to adopt measures to strengthen the financial situation. Responding, Panneerselvam said it would be better if the Congress leader avoided making sweeping allegations and instead quoted statistics and put forth his arguments.
Panneerselvam further said that except for a few categories, all tax revenue had gone to the Centre and the State government cannot levy any tax. Further, consecutive finance commissions from (9th to 14th) had reduced the allocations for Tamil Nadu. Despite all this, the State government had reduced the revenue deficit which was projected at Rs 21,000 crore, to Rs 14,000 crore now.
Panneerselvam also pointed out this state of affairs of ignoring the interests of Tamil Nadu had started from the UPA regime when P Chidambaram was the Union Finance Minister. “We can’t engage in a street fight with the Central government. There is always a method,” he said.