CHENNAI: The DMK government on Monday asserted that it would never permit the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Tamil Nadu and vowed to take all necessary measures in this regard.
DMK made this declaration in the Governor’s address to the House, which R N Ravi refused to read due to his disagreement with several passages. The address was read before the House by Speaker M Appavu.
The Assembly Speaker said, "We stand with minorities and our Sri Lankan Tamil brethren, as we pledge to protect their rights. This government will never permit the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act in our State and vows to take all necessary measures in this regard."
Quoting the words of Tamil poet Kaniyan Poongundranar "Yaadhum Oore Yaavarum Kelir" which stresses the spirit of universal brotherhood embraced by Tamils in the Sangam Era, the government said, the vision of Poongundranar continues to serve as the guiding light.
"While the ideal of unity in diversity is facing a grave threat in our nation, this Government remains steadfast in its commitment to protect and preserve the communal harmony in the State," the government added.
The government also charged that the union government has reneged on its promise to provide its share in the Chennai Metro Rail Phase-II project. The project was sanctioned at a cost of Rs.63,246 crore with an understanding that it would be a 50:50 equity sharing between us and the union government. The same was also announced by the union finance minister in the Union Budget Speech in 2021-22.
“But, even after the inauguration by the union home minister, the project has not been approved by the union government despite approval of the Project Investment Board on 17.08.2021. It is disappointing that while the union government has accorded sanction for similar projects in other States during this period, the proposal of Chennai Metro Rail has been kept pending. As a result of this unfair treatment, the entire expenditure for Phase II is being met by the State government from its budgetary support, thereby adding to the strain on the State finances. We urge the union government to approve the project as originally envisaged,” the government said.
The DMK government also reiterated its demand for conducting a nationwide caste census in the customary address of the governor.
"To create an equitable and inclusive society, it is important that the benefits of various welfare schemes reach the most deserving sections of the populace. The CM has addressed the PM requesting him to take up the caste census along with the national decadal census, which is due since 2021. Given its robust, comprehensive, and time-tested methodology, this government believes that it will be a major step forward towards evidence-based policymaking and we hope that the union government will accept this request," the government added.
The government also urged the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) to come out with a scientific formula for the sharing of river water, as per orders of the Supreme Court. In the customary address of the governor, the government said it would take all necessary measures to prevent the construction of the Mekedatu dam on Cauvery. The government also said it remained firm on its commitment to get its rightful share of the water in inter-state rivers and will leave no stone unturned to safeguard the interests of its farmers.