Chief Minister and All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary Jayalalithaa on Saturday lashed out at Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president M.Karunanidhi for his party’s support to the National Food Security Bill when the UPA government failed to incorporate various proposals for amendments to the Bill, providing greater benefit to Tamil Nadu.
In a statement, Ms.Jayalalithaa recalled that the DMK president M.Karunanidhi had said that his party would not support the Bill if the amendments proposed by various parties were adopted. She said following her repeated representations, the Centre agreed not to reduce the rice allocation to the States. The Centre, while approving supply of 21.88 lakh tonne rice at Rs.3 a kg, however, did not incorporate any amendment related to the price for nearly 15 lakh tonne of rice, which would be over and above the State’s entitlement.
Describing DMK support for the Bill as betrayal of Tamils, Ms.Jayalalithaa said Union Food Minister K.V.Thomas had, in response to a query from the AIADMK parliamentary party leader M.Thambidurai during the discussion on the Bill in Lok Sabha, said the price of rice for the additional quantity would be given at the rate (Rs.8.30 per kg) that was now meant for APL families. [However, in the State, irrespective of category, rice is given free of cost]. Besides the price, maintaining status quo in allocation and an increase in entitlement were some of the amendments sought by Ms.Jayalalithaa. However, eventually, the government did not move an amendment.