Rejecting Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s charge that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) had betrayed the interests of Tamil Nadu by voting in favour of the Food Security Bill without adequate amendments, party president M. Karunanidhi said Union Minister K.V. Thomas had promised to him that the existing allocation of foodgrains would be protected for States like Tamil Nadu.
Quoting Mr Thomas’ letter of September 5 to him, Mr Karunanidhi said the Union Minister stated that it had been decided that in cases where the States were receiving foodgrains lesser under the [proposed] National Food Security Act than the current allocation of foodgrains, the difference would be protected. This provision had been added in the Act itself. It was also decided that the difference in foodgrains between the revised entitlement and the existing entitlement would be provided at the issue prices as applicable to the Above Poverty Line (APL) category under the existing Targetted Public Distribution System (TPDS) - Rs 6.10 per kg for wheat and Rs 8.30 per kg for rice, said the letter written on September 5.
Mr Karunanidhi said the Minister had made the promise in Parliament. “Generally when an assurance is given in Parliament, it should be implemented,” he said, comparing it to her announcements in the State Assembly.
The DMK leader argued that the financial burden of the Tamil Nadu government would come down, thanks to the Food Security Bill.