Sandeep Dikshit

ON BOARD PRIME MINISTER’S SPECIAL AIRCRAFT: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said there was no question of discrimination against any State by the Centre.

To a question on Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achutanandan’s allegation that the Centre was neglecting his State, the Prime Minister, on his way home from Qatar late on Monday night, said he was conscious of the obligation to help not only Kerala but also the other Left-ruled States of West Bengal and Tripura.

“I am very conscious of our obligation to help the people of Kerala. It has been my conscious effort that neither the government of Kerala nor the governments of West Bengal and Tripura should have any real grievances. I have made very special effort to attend to their concerns. It is our duty not a favour. As Prime Minister, I have taken special care to look into any issue which the Chief Ministers of Kerala, West Bengal or Tripura have brought to my notice. There is no question of any discrimination. These are States of the union and it is the duty of the Central government to go to their help despite the fact that they may be run by parties which are opposed to us.”

On the unrest among the armed forces over the Sixth Pay Commission proposals, Dr. Singh said he had set up a Group of Ministers headed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee. “They are looking into it,” he said.

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