Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has asked the Centre to allocate 1.8 lakh tonnes of rice a month at minimum cost price for distribution under the public distribution system in the State.

Mr. Karunanidhi told presspersons here on Friday that he made this request for an increased allocation to Union Minister for Agriculture, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Sharad Pawar after the inauguration of a national conference of Krishi Vigyan Kendras.

The Chief Minister said preliminary arrangements for the World Classical Tamil Conference in Coimbatore in June 2010 had begun. Several international scholars had accepted the invitation. President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi would be invited.

On All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalithaa’s charge that the Chief Minister had not taken action against four top police officers as per the Madras High Court’s orders in connection with the police-advocates clash on the court premises, Mr. Karunanidhi said there had not been any direct charge against the government, the Chief Minister or the Ministers.

In fact, the High Court order had appreciated the Chief Minister for having written to the Judges of the Madras High Court despite his hospitalisation and appreciated top officials.

When there was no charge against the government and Ministers, why should anyone be held responsible, he asked. To a query on his letter seeking Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) protection at the Mullaperiyar dam, the Chief Minister said all actions and efforts by Tamil Nadu officials, including legal measures, were blocked by the Kerala authorities. “I had informed the Union Government and the Prime Minister on this twice or thrice.” A reply was yet to come to his recent letter, he said.

Mr. Karunanidhi said he preferred to ignore the reported remark by the former Union Minister, E.V.K.S. Elangovan, that the Congress might have to oppose the DMK if it were to stage a protest against Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh’s sanction to Kerala to conduct a survey near the Mullaperiyar dam. “I speak to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh regularly. Therefore, I need not respond to such remarks.”

Mr. Karunanidhi said the Centre was taking a sympathetic view of the appeal from MPs from the State for grant of citizenship to Sri Lankan Tamil refugees. He said the legal issues were being looked into. If necessary the government would allocate more funds, in addition to the Rs.12 crore already allocated, to provide amenities in camps for them. This would be decided after getting a report on November 10 from the Ministers who have been visiting the camps across the State.

On the view that there was no quality book on Tamil grammar after ‘Nanool’, Mr. Karunanidhi said the World Tamil Conference would be a platform for bring out one.

He said there was no move for a Cabinet reshuffle or a bifurcation of the Public Works Department.

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