Tamil Nadu getting step-motherly treatment from Centre: AIADMK

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New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Terming the relation between Centre and states like that of a mother and child, AIADMK’s parliamentary party leader P Venugopal on Friday said that his state Tamil Nadu is being meted out step-motherly treatment.

Participating in the debate on the no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government in the Lok Sabha, he said India was the sixth largest economy and Tamil Nadu is one of the key states to achieve this but “even after being one of the leading contributors in GDP, Tamil Nadu is getting unfair treatment”.

“There is an unpaid claim of Rs 6,066.5 crore with the Centre.

“The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has written twice to the Prime Minister of India, but funds haven’t been released,” he said.

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He also said that due to some revisions made to the guidelines for scholarship schemes for the Scheduled Castes/Tribes in the state, “some students have been severely affected”.

Venugopal said that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, in another letter, brought to notice “the serious financial constraints the urban and local bodies are facing due to the non-release of the second instalment of 14th Finance Commission’s basic grants”.

“Lack of funds is depriving the local and urban bodies to exercise their basic civic functions.

“I request the government to immediately release the second instalment of basic grant of Rs 1,0390 crore and the performance grants of Rs 560 crore to the urban and local bodies for the year 2017-18,” he said.

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He further implored the government to bring a change in the terms of 15th Finance Commission “so that due interest is given to states like Tamil Nadu”.

“Due to the repeated punishment and unfair treatment vetted out to the Tamil Nadu government by successive Finance Commissions, we request a change in the terms of reference of 15th Finance Commission so that due interest is given to states like Tamil Nadu,” he said, also seeking an annual special grant of Rs 2,000 crore for the remaining period of the 14th Finance Commission.

He also urged the central government to not replace the existing University Grants Commission with the proposed Higher Education Commission of India.

Venugopal also sought that the Dam Safety Bill of 2018 be dropped as it “violates the rights of Tamil Nadu” and that the Centre resolve all the inter-state river disputes first before bringing it.

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Citing the main reasons behind mob lynching and women safety issues being illiteracy, unemployment and drugs, he said that the “Centre cannot say that it’s a state issue. The drugs are coming from across the border and the Centre must ensure that the borders are not porous”.

Thanking the Prime Minister for constituting the Cauvery Board, he said that the people will decide what happens in 2019, hinting that his party might stay away from voting.

–IANS

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