DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi on Friday said his party would support the contentious Food Security Bill only if the legislation does not impinge on Tamil Nadu’s rights even by a slight degree. He said the objections raised by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa should not be brushed aside, and called on the Centre to give State governments the right to choose the mode of implementation that is most suited to their contexts.
Karunanidhi expressed his party’s stand on the Food Security Bill in an editorial in party mouthpiece, Murasoli, in what was clearly a reaction to a statement from Jayalalithaa on August 5, in which she had accused the DMK patriarch of preparing to support the Bill after initially opposing it. A substantial portion of the editorial was devoted to pointing out that DMK had, like Jayalalithaa, only asked for changes to be made to the Bill and not expressed support for it in its present form.
“Centre must not thrust regulations for implementation of the Food Security Bill on the states. It should instead come forward to give State governments the right to decide the best course of implementation suited to their respective contexts. The Centre should come forward to make the necessary changes to the Bill,” said Karunanidhi, adding that, he would support the bill only if it did not cripple the existing PDS in Tamil Nadu.