Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) leader Vijayakant on Monday decried the Centre’s decision to divest five per cent of its stake in the Neyveli Lignite Corporation, saying it would result in gradual privatisation of the public sector company and lead to increase in power tariff.

In a statement here, he said Tamil Nadu depended heavily on the power generated by the NLC and the government’s proposal could not be accepted.

Mr. Vijayakant said political parties and NLC workers had objected to the government’s proposal and the Centre could not afford to remain indifferent to their agitation.

He also criticised Union Minister V. Narayanasamy’s remarks that the opposition to the divestment decision was due to a political motive.

The actor-turned-politician said when the Central budget outlay exceeded Rs.10 lakh crore, mobilising Rs. 466 crore through divesting the shares of NLC was not a good idea. “The government can collect the money from tax defaulters,” he said.

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