Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Saturday described as wishy-washy the statement made by DMK president M Karunanidhi on the contentious Food Security Bill. She also sought to know whether the DMK would support the Bill in its present form if put to vote in Parliament.
Referring to the contention of Karunanidhi that T K S Elangovan was not the sole representative of the DMK to express views on the Bill, Jayalalithaa said in the DMK hierarchy Elangovan enjoys a higher position than Karunanidhi’s elder son M K Alagiri. How could political parties ignore his views, she asked. Further, she asked why Karunanidhi had failed to deny Elangovan’s statement supporting the Bill.
Jayalalithaa sought to know whether Karunanidhi was aware that the implementation of the Bill would reduce the allocation of rice to Tamil Nadu by one lakh tonnes. “Does Karunanidhi know that the Bill is against the Universal Public Distribution System being implemented in Tamil Nadu?” she asked.
The CM asked whether the DMK chief was aware that the Bill provides allocation of rice at Rs 3 per kg only for the first three years. She also wondered whether he knew that the State government had to spend Rs 3,000 crore in addition to Rs 5,000 crore being spent for implementing the UPDS in Tamil Nadu.
Jayalalithaa asked him to explain whether the Bill was against the interests of the people of Tamil Nadu and whether the DMK would propose amendments in Parliament.
Pointing out that she has been consistent in opposing the Bill and communicating her views to Prime Minister throughletters, Jayalalithaa said when the Food Security Ordinance was promulgated, she had immediately issued a statement explaining the pros and cons of the Ordinance. As such, Karunanidhi’s remark that she had kept mum on the Bill for about one month was wrong.
Regarding the remark of Karunanidhi that she had been criticising his family members on all issues, Jayalalithaa said “In Karunanidhi’s family, everyone is engaged in politics. In the past, the party was considered as a family.... over a period, the situation has turned topsy turvy.... now the family is considered as the party. As such, how can one exclude ‘the family’ from while expressing views?.”
She sought to know why Karunanidhi, who never hesitated to approach the Congress seeking support for his daughter Kanimozhi in RS polls, had been hesitating to approach that party for the sake of the people of TN. She also observed that Karunanidhi, who had opposed the FDI in retail initially, supported it ultimately in Parliament.