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Updated: December 28, 2012 04:08 IST

Jayalalithaa ‘humiliated,’ walks out of NDC meeting

J. Balaji
Comment (29)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha at the 57th National Development Council meeting in New Delhi on Thursday. Accusing the Centre of stifling the voices of Chief Ministers, Ms. Jayalalithaa walked out of the meeting. Photo: Ramesh Sharma
The Hindu
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha at the 57th National Development Council meeting in New Delhi on Thursday. Accusing the Centre of stifling the voices of Chief Ministers, Ms. Jayalalithaa walked out of the meeting. Photo: Ramesh Sharma

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Thursday walked out of the 57th meeting of the National Development Council (NDC) here, accusing the Centre of “stifling the voice of Chief Ministers,’’ “treating shabbily a constitutional authority” and “humiliating” them by ringing a bell during her speech.

“The voice of the CMs has been stifled. They were not allowed to speak freely. At the very beginning we were told that only 10 minutes will be allotted to each CM and after that a bell will ring. This is unheard of. This has never been the practice before,” she told journalists while coming out of the venue – Vigyan Bhavan.

Ms. Jayalalithaa said, “If this is the way they are going to treat the CMs, the Centre could stop calling such conferences and stop inviting them and we have got enough work back home.”

She had attended many conferences, including meetings of the NDC and CMs and such practices were never adopted before. “This is utter humiliation of a CM who has come all the way to Delhi to present the views of the State government, in the interest of the welfare of the people of Tamil Nadu and in the national interest.”

The UPA government was showing discrimination. Those who supported the Centre were allowed to speak for 30 or 35 minutes and even more sometimes. “At the last conference that I attended, the Assam Chief Minister was allowed to speak for more than 35 minutes. It is impossible to convey the views of the State government in such a short period as 10 minutes,” she said.

The CMs were asked to come to Delhi to discuss the 12th Plan Document, which was so lengthy and encompassed so many subjects that it was practically impossible to convey everything a CM wanted to say in 10 minutes.

Ms. Jayalalithaa alleged that the treatment meted out to her was not fair. “This is not democracy. The NDC meeting had turned out to be an exercise in humiliation.”

Informed sources said she had hardly completed speaking from the 10th page of a 28-page speech copy when the bell was rung and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was conducting the proceedings, called the next speaker — Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Anam Ramnarayan Reddy — to speak.

At this stage Ms. Jayalalithaa moved out of the hall along with State Finance Minister O. Pannerselvam, Chief Secretary Debendranath Sarangi and other officials. But she did not make any announcement about her protest in the hall.

Immediately after that she left for Chennai.

Amma is right in protesting. Giving 10 minutes for each CM makes a
mockery of things. If this meeting was to be taken serious, the
meeting could have been conducted for say 4 to 5 days instead of one.
10 minutes for expressing concerns and suggestions in a big forum , is
utter nonsense. As she has rightly said, they need not have called
Chief Ministers for just 10 minutes of speech. It clearly points out
that the agenda is just to formally conduct a meeting without really
serving any purpose at all. That states ruled by opposition parties at
the centre need enough time to articulate their views. States where
the Govt is from the same party as the central Govt. get what they
want even if they dont speak. It is highly riduclous that the central
Govt conducts the forum which it claims as forum with high standards
and dignitaries , as a "namesake" activity.

from:  Dhiwakar
Posted on: Dec 28, 2012 at 16:21 IST

Charles Doran said- "People whose vision is perfect in every other respect suffer from a curious astigmatism which prevents them from recognizing a stopping point when they come to it.
In a forum where speakers are many, everyone is important to the organisers and everyone would like to voice their views , race against time would be definite. Effective time manageent would be feasible only when organisers have measures as theseand tere is nothing to feel humiliated. Need of the hour is for Tamil Nadu CM to be sportive and "goget" attitude. Ironic that she has opted for walk out which is but unfortunate

from:  S Raghavan
Posted on: Dec 28, 2012 at 12:21 IST

Jayalalitha very cleverly avoided the boredom of listening to the other
40 speakers. She should not have been allowed to jump the queue. What
she did was like someone batting first and going away without fielding
later at kids cricket games.

from:  Raghusn
Posted on: Dec 28, 2012 at 12:14 IST

Shouldn't the time limit be per issue rather than per CM. Some states
might have more issues than others. States with borders shared with
other countries, states with major populations, states with natural
calamities...how can MMS expect all of them to speak in same time frame.

from:  Taru
Posted on: Dec 28, 2012 at 12:13 IST

The treatment of a constitutional authority in this manner shows how much respect the concerned people in power have for the constitution. Should we follow the constitution/law or convenience/lawlessness in governing our country?

from:  E.S.A. Raj
Posted on: Dec 28, 2012 at 11:35 IST

Voltair said " you may out of ten times, criticize/ oppose me ten
times, but I will fight that you must be given chance to speak".And
one Chief Minister is allotted ten minutes to speak about the problems
facing her state, this is undemocratic and shows discrimination. We /
our leaders take pride in calling our nation democratic. And democracy
rests on the principle of respecting an individual, and she is a Chief
Minister chosen by her people; may be she is from a state, which at
present is ruled by a party, not being a part of alliance ruling at
the center. So disgusting !

from:  Raghvendra Krishna Pratap
Posted on: Dec 28, 2012 at 11:31 IST

Well done Amma,Thats The spirit of a true leader. Center is playing a
foul play.This Government will collapse sooner or later & we will show
our strengths by showing our numbers in the coming Loksabha election.

from:  Alfred
Posted on: Dec 28, 2012 at 11:23 IST

10 minutes is not enough & she chooses to address media later on about
DAS issue as if cable tv is the most important thing for welfare of
tamil nadu.

from:  Fazal
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012 at 21:25 IST

I thought the very aim of setting up NDC was to address the issues faced
by the states. Is it a school level debating competition to be time
bound? The indifference of the centre is set to achieving great heights.

from:  Nivesh Gupta
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012 at 21:13 IST

Our so-called leaders will never intellectually grow out of their baby-boots. Jayalalithaaa wanted to drag on her speech which was intended for her audience in Tamil Nadu for consumption in the next elections. She was given as much time as others were given. And she wanted to use, for her for grandstanding, the august forum meeting to discuss serious issues. God bless Tamil Nadu which has perforce to choose between Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa. .

from:  Dr V Nageswara Rao
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012 at 20:56 IST

10 minutes? Many people commenting in this forum should know that you cannot say much in 10 minutes except a summary which is more cookie cutter type. An elected CM of a state should be given more time. After all,India does not have 500 states. I don't see a need to call everyone to Delhi and give a speech for 10 minutes especially in an important forum like NDC.

Will Manmohan Singh or Sonia Gandhi or UPA ruled bureacrats give a speech in 10 minutes?

from:  ritesh ramesh
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012 at 20:46 IST

The TN CM has done the right thing. The meeting should have been planned for 2 days.In 10 minutes what can can be told?It is waste of public money. & insult to the people of Tamilnadu.

from:  tv aramudhan
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012 at 20:28 IST

India has 28 states. 10 minutes may seem short but that's 4.6 hrs. A whole day when we take into consideration the breaks.
It will be tiring to the listener as it is. I am sure she could have submitted the full speech articulating her views on every topic and just highlighted the main points.

from:  Patrick Kumar
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012 at 19:21 IST

To allow just 10 minutes of course is a humiliation. It is not a communication exercise and test where ones ability to give presentations in an allotted time. It is the issue of the people and a Chief minister to be asked to leave the podium after a bell is a shame.
Bravo Jayalalitha!

from:  Swaminathan R
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012 at 15:55 IST

What the NDC expects from the CMs . Just attend the meeting, stand up
and Sit down. It is highly ridiculous to adopt time norms. NDC is for
National Development. If you are not going to listen from the CMs
anything for more than 10 mts. then you convene the meeting at all. Just
to listen your lullaby why the CMs waste their time so long.

from:  adiseshan
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012 at 15:26 IST

Why can't she make a speech that is effective and finishes in 10 minutes? At CM's
level we (the cattle class people) expect greatest power and efficiency.

from:  Kedar
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012 at 15:02 IST

How will this become a humiliation. Every minister is given equal time. All have to abide that.

from:  Shiyas
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012 at 14:39 IST

The gap between the rich and poor states is growing. TN with less
than half the population of UP contributes more to India's GDP than
UP does. For how long will non-performing states like UP get
subsidized at the expense of the poor in better performing states?
Is this sustainable? Jayalalitha has a right to be upset. Not
purely because of the unfairness, but because more and more, the
central govt seems totally unfit to provide a solution.

from:  Rajgopal Rao
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012 at 14:38 IST

The Congress-led UPA government has no "divine right" to run the country as it pleases. But
it thinks it has. Since the Congress Party is run by a single person, its MPs have no
independent views on anything. The party apparently thinks that the opposition is a
necessary evil and the latter's views are therefore of no consequence. The UPA government
may call a meeting of Chief Ministers of various States for discussions. But do the views of
Chief Ministers count.? The story reported above shows that their views are not of any
importance in New Delhi. That is India's democracy today. Unfortunately however our
opinion -makers are not worried!

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012 at 14:21 IST

Ten minutes for every CM -as it was very well planned in advance, she also should have followed without exposing her usual short-tempered nature in such a highly dignified quorum.

from:  ramamurthi kunjithapadam
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012 at 14:12 IST

this congress government is making mockery of almost everything. they
have called the meeting of most empowered body in this country ,NDC,
and rather than making it forum for a discussion on issues , like
police reforms , developmental issues,has made it just any election
campaign meeting where just each minister is addressing it for 10 mins
. Ms jayalalithaa is right in pointing out that this government has
neither intention or time to discuss issues , its just finding ways
for survival with each passing day. this is government full of
internal contradictions but political compulsions which has kept it
bound. the dealings of the government and it's office bearer in
handling of issues of last few months , we have to say that this
government is losing its authority to continue in office with every
passing day.

from:  deoraj
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012 at 14:05 IST

One should honor the timelines and regulations of any conference.
Moreover, if you know that 10 minutes has been allotted to each
individuals then you should prepare your speech accordingly by
highlighting the main points rather than a long list of allegations to
central government.

from:  Arjun
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012 at 13:49 IST

Centre Government must limit the speech in terms of words to be used and
detailed speech which runs in number of pages should be documented for
further review by NDC authority. Understanding the number of states in
India, it is compulsion for govt to restrict speaker in a given time
frame since all speakers have to voice their opinion. Tamilnadu CM
should appreciate it.

from:  Ranjit
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012 at 13:32 IST

Our Tamil Nadu CM is right to say allocated 10mins is not sufficient to explain the needs of people of TN. Rather than attacking the centre, she could have used the given 10mins efficiently. End of the day the people of Tamil Nadu should pay the price for the ego clash between state and centre.

from:  siva
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012 at 13:30 IST

Rules of the meeting are apparently known to every CM as per her own
admission. Then she has a choice to "feel" humiliated or conform to the
norms of the meeting which was apriori informed.

I dont see any issue at all...

from:  Srinivas
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012 at 13:17 IST

Representatives from all states need to speak. It is not correct on part
of politicians to make lengthy presentations. A brief outline can be
made and details can be submitted in the form of a hard copy. When prior
intimation has been given, people cannot become emotional and say that
their voice has been stipled. For long period, people have tolerated
politicians coming late and giving lengthy speeches. Hope this is the
beginning of something good.

from:  krishnan
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012 at 13:15 IST

Ten minutes for every CM- has been well-informed in advance.Because she is a non-congress CM she should not have behaved as she used to in her state platforms and party forums.Should have exhibited an element of maturity and high degree of patience. Yet to change her style and shed off ego and short-temper.Completely forgotten she represents a state known for its high reputation.

from:  rkpadam
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012 at 13:04 IST

The central govt has changed the democratic institutions into autocratic institutions.

from:  Abhinav
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012 at 12:58 IST

Walking out of the meeting and showing protest does not speak well about TN Chief. NDC is attended by all state CMs and if all are allowed to speak Min 10 min followed by interactions the meeting would last 6 Hrs and would be impossible for the Chair PM to spare his in valuable time. If TN has any grievance they can hand over the same to the Chair for consideration. One may raise the similar question,how much time is given to the opposition MLAs during Budget session in the assembly?

from:  VSBALASUBRAMANIAN
Posted on: Dec 27, 2012 at 12:54 IST
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