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War of words over Noon Meal Scheme

The State Assembly witnessed arguments between the ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK on Wednesday over the Nutritious Noon Meal Scheme launched by former chief minister M G Ramachandran.

Published: 04th April 2013 10:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th April 2013 10:05 AM   |  A+A-

The State Assembly witnessed arguments between the ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK on Wednesday over the Nutritious Noon Meal Scheme launched by former chief minister M G Ramachandran.

Ministers argued that DMK chief M Karunanidhi had initially looked down upon the meal scheme but changed his stand when the scheme gained popularity. DMK floor leader M K Stalin denied the allegation.

Going a step further, Housing Minister R Vaithilingam said there was evidence in Assembly records to prove that the DMK had slammed the scheme. Soon after, while discussing demands for grants for the social welfare department, DMK member Pushpa Leela Alban said eggs were added to the noon meal scheme menu by the previous DMK regime.

In an immediate rebuttal, Social Welfare Minister B Valarmathi said it was Karunanidhi who slammed the scheme as one that forced students to hold plates for meals. Intervening in the debate, Municipal Administration Minister K P Munusamy said Karunanidhi added eggs to the meal scheme only to gain political mileage and not out of concern for children.

This triggered instant protests from DMK members, including Stalin, who wanted Speaker P Dhanapal to expunge the remarks. Refusing do so, the Speaker said views expressed by both Stalin and the Minister would remain in House records.



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