“Will support the bill only if Centre incorporates suitable amendments”

DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Sunday made it clear that his party would support the Food Security Bill only if it incorporated suitable amendments suggested by various political parties.

“If the Centre is firm on bringing in the Bill in its present form, the DMK will certainly oppose it,” he said, adding that his explanation would clear Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s doubts about the DMK’s stand.

On Saturday, Ms. Jayalalithaa raised seven points in connection with the Food Security Bill vis-à-vis the stand of the DMK.

She wanted to know whether Mr. Karunanidhi was aware of the fact that Tamil Nadu’s quota of rice would cut by one lakh tonne once the bill was passed and it was against universal public distribution system now in vogue in the State.

Mr. Karunanidhi said he had explained the DMK’s stand long before Ms. Jayalalithaa had raised the points and even she had not expressed any opposition to the Bill, but had only demanded appropriate amendments to the Bill.

He said DMK’s Parliamentary party leader T.R. Baalu had already submitted the amendments to be made to the Bill. “I have also said the bill should not infringe on the rights of States. But Ms. Jayalalithaa is again and again raising the issue because she wants to issue one statement or other every day.”

Mr. Karunanidhi also rejected Ms. Jayalalithaa’s allegation that the DMK had become a caucus with all his sons, daughters and grandchildren involving themselves in political work. “There is nothing wrong in family members of a political leader joining politics. It has been there since the times of Jawaharlal Nehru,” he said.

Mr. Karunanidhi said there was no truth in the allegation that he had agreed not to stand in the way of the UPA government’s decision as a quid pro quo to the support offered by the Congress to her daughter Kanimozhi’s election to Rajya Sabha.

“Even AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik has clarified that the Congress had not made any preconditions for support,” he said.

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