CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Wednesday witnessed a short debate on the use of the term ‘Union government’ instead of 'central government' by DMK leaders. Responding to BJP floor leader Nainar Nagenthran who raised the issue, Chief Minister MK Stalin said there was nothing wrong in the usage since the word 'Ondriyam' (Union) implied federalism and asserted that the DMK would continue to use it.
"No one needs to get frightened by the word Ondriyam. We use this word as it implies federalism. So we will continue to use it," the Chief Minister said responding to Nainar Nagenthran who criticised the DMK's new found interest in using the term 'Ondriya arasu' (Union government) instead of the term for ‘central government’.
“A few feel that using the term 'Union government' is a social crime. That is totally wrong. We say what is said in the Constitution of India. The first sentence of the Constitution says - India, that is Bharat, shall be a Union of States. So, we are using what is used in the Constitution,” Stalin explained.
Nainar Nagenthran said the Chief Minister should explain why this new usage has been reiterated now and the ulterior motive behind it. This has created a suspicion among the people whether the present government has some other motive for using it, he added.
Referring to the contention of Nagenthran that present day DMK leaders have 'invented' something new which even their late leaders Arignar Anna (CN Annadurai) and M Karunanidhi did not use, Stalin said, "Decades ago, the election manifesto of the DMK used the phrase Union of India. Further, Anna, speaking in the Rajya Sabha on January 25, 1963 explained this in his speech: "What is it that we mean by sovereignty? The Preamble to the Constitution says that political sovereignty rests with the people. The legal sovereignty is divided between the Federal Union and the constituent units."
The Chief Minister also recalled that freedom fighter MP Sivagnanam had used the word 'samashti' (federal) while late leader Rajaji spoke against piling up of powers with the Union government and about ushering in true federalism.