Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday lashed out at DMK chief M Karunanidhi for criticising her on the NLC disinvestment issue, saying he was unable to digest the praises showered on her for the decision to buy the shares via state-run PSUs.
“Karunanidhi, now in the grip of despondency, is trying to find fault with my deft move which averted massive labour unrest and the attempt to sell NLC shares to private parties,” Jayalalithaa said in a statement.
Jayalalithaa said her proposal to buy shares through the State government’s public sector undertakings was a right decision taken at the right moment. “I wish to remind Karunanidhi the Tirukkural couplet ‘It is ruinous to do what should not be done and ruinous to leave undone what should be done’. His statement on the issue is nothing but an expression of desperation,” she said.
Jayalalithaa referred to Karunanidhi’s statement a few days ago that had she stood by her earlier decision that the NLC should not be divested, the Centre would have exempted it from SEBI’s regulatory norms.
Countering this, Jayalalithaa said when the SEBI brought in regulatory norms for the PSUs in 2010, DMK was part of the UPA government and hence was a party to that decision. “Had he protested the changes made in the regulatory norms then, there would not have been any need for opposing the Centre’s move to disinvest NLC shares now. Karunanidhi who had remained a mute spectator at a time when he had to act, has no locus standi to malign my decision to buy the shares now,” she said. Jayalalithaa further said when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh through his letter dated June 8, reiterated that there was no other option for the Centre but to disinvest in NLC, it had become necessary to propose a feasible solution by buying shares through PSUs of the State government. Unable to reject my offer, the Centre accepted to sell the shares to TN PSUs, she added.
The Chief Minister said even in 2006 the Centre had to withdraw its move to disinvest the NLC following the stiff opposition by the AIADMK and the agitations of NLC workers. Karunanidhi, who was in power then both at Centre and at State, suggested that the shares worth `1,100 crore could be sold to the workers of the NLC. However, she said it was an impractical suggestion as every employee should have to pay `8 lakh for buying the NLC shares and the workers too had opposed it.