CHENNAI: While calling upon the Centre to work closely with the State governments to create a conducive atmosphere for growth, Chief Minister ‘Edappadi’ K Palaniswami on Sunday urged the Union government to give up the one-size-fits-all model so that states get ‘elbow room’ to devise their own plans.
Speaking at the third Governing Council meeting of the NITI Ayog in New Delhi, he said, “The Government of India should work closely with the State Governments in providing an enabling ecosystem for the growth strategies the States may have charted for themselves.”
He added, “The Government of India must not pursue a ‘one-size-fits-all’ model, but instead allow states to plan and manage priorities falling under their jurisdiction. The perspective, strategy and action documents should give sufficient elbow room for states to develop their own long and medium range plans.”
The Chief Minister, who earlier in the morning sought to assuage the feelings of protesting Tamil Nadu farmers at Jantar Mantar, brought their plight to the notice of NITI Ayog and Prime Minister Narenfra Modi who chaired the event. Farmers in the State are in considerable distress and their representatives have voiced their grievances even in New Delhi, he said and requested the Centre to give ‘sympathetic consideration’ to their legitimate grievances.
Referring to the perennial Cauvery river water-sharing row, Palaniswami urged the Centre to immediately establish the Cauvery Management Board and Cauvery River Water Regulation Committee for implementing the final award of the Tribunal. He also stressed the need for inter-linking of peninsular rivers as sought by late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, and pointed out that the Special Committee for Interlinking of Rivers constituted by the Centre could not make significant headway.
Protect fishing rights
The Chief Minister highlighted the plight of the Tamil fishermen who had come under ‘aggressive actions’ of the Sri Lanka. He urged the Centre to take steps to protect the traditional fishing rights in the Palk Bay and ensure their safety and security. He also sought immediate steps for the release of 133 boats in Sri Lankan custody.
Accord NEET waiver
Describing the introduction of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for studying medicine as a ‘direct infringement’ on the rights of the State causing grave injustice to the students of Tamil Nadu, the Chief Minister reiterated the request for immediate approval of the two Bills enacted by State Assembly to continue the State government’s existing fair and transparent system of admission.