The reaction of the DMK and the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi to the Union Interim Budget has added fuel to speculation of Congress making its way back into the DMK-led front for the coming Lok Sabha elections.
Unlike most other political parties in the State, DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi and VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan issued soft statements in their reaction to the budget.
Karunanidhi, despite noting that the interim budget did not feature the expected number of schemes, focused on the positive aspects of the interim budget tabled in the Lok Sabha by Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday.
“There are some aspects of the interim budget that are worthy of praise. The service tax exemption has been extended to cover rice. Interest rate on education loans has been reduced.There are welcome announcements on the creation of 10 lakh jobs, reduction in cell phone prices, four massive solar power projects, seven new airport projects and the reduction of inflation to five percent,” said Karunanidhi.
“Though it does not meet the expectations on the number of new schemes announced, it remains a budget that is somewhat welcome,” Karunanidhi added, however pointing out that the interim budget made no mention of repeated increases in the prices of petrol and diesel.
Thirumavalavan too underscored a number of positive aspects of the budget, but was marginally more critical than Karunanidhi.
He wondered why the service tax exemption, which has been extended to rice, was not given to cotton.
Welcoming the slash in interest rates on education loans, Thirumavalavan urged the Centre to completely waive all education loans taken for studying engineering.
Thirumavalavan also accused Chidambaram of forsaking Dalits in an election year.