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UPA failed to concede 17 of its demands, says MDMK

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CONFABULATION: MDMK general secretary Vaiko having a word with treasurer M. Kannappan (second from right) at the party's conference in Coimbatore. Deputy general secretary Nazareth Durai (left) and AIADMK headquarters secretary K.A. Sengottian (right) are in the picture.
CONFABULATION: MDMK general secretary Vaiko having a word with treasurer M. Kannappan (second from right) at the party's conference in Coimbatore. Deputy general secretary Nazareth Durai (left) and AIADMK headquarters secretary K.A. Sengottian (right) are in the picture.

Staff Reporter

"Centre also failed to eradicate unemployment"

COIMBATORE: The MDMK cited the failure of the United Progressive Alliance to concede the 17 demands it made at the time of the formulation of the National Common Minimum Programme as the reason for the party's decision to withdraw support to the Manmohan Singh Government.

The demands included declaration of official language status for languages, including Tamil, listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, amendments in relevant legislations to ensure social justice, constitutional amendment to ensure autonomy for States, formation of legally empowered Authority for resolving the Cauvery dispute, priority for linking of South Indian rivers, budgetary allocation of eight and five per cent in the Gross Domestic Product for education and public health sectors, farsighted external affairs policy, India's co-operation for ending the genocide of Tamils and the ethnic strife in Sri Lanka, conduct of Union Staff Selection Commission examinations in Tamil and granting of dual citizenship status for non-resident Tamils as contemplated in the case of Indian citizens. No action was initiated on most of these, the party said. The Centre had also failed to eradicate unemployment.

Listing the party's grievances with the UPA, it pointed out that the Centre was maintaining silence on the issue of hiking interest rates for the Employees Provident Fund.

A meeting of the party's district secretaries, political advisory committee and governing council presided by its general secretary Vaiko on Friday passed a resolution to this effect. It was later presented at the zonal conference in the afternoon.

Focus on irrigation

Eight of the 20 resolutions passed at the conference focussed more on irrigation schemes, agriculture and economic policies.

On the political front, the conference called for stepping up the party's campaign and agitations against the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) Government to oppose its "attempts to kill democracy." The meeting accused the DMK of trying to split MDMK.

The conference urged the State Government to withdraw its recent rule asking the farmers to mortgage the lands and register the same with Sub-Registrars for getting loans.

The Cauvery tribunal awarding 30 tmcft of water to Kerala would only spell disaster to farmers irrigating 54,000 acres in Amaravathy and Lower Bhavani areas. The State should either go on appeal before the tribunal or move the Supreme Court to protect the interests of farmers in Coimbatore, Erode and Karur districts.

The conference also condemned the Centre's move to acquire agricultural land for Special Economic Zones (SEZ) as this would affect the livelihood of 70 per cent of people depending on agriculture.

The meeting also demanded a ban on foreign investments in retail trading and online trading. To protect the interests of the minorities, it demanded implementation of the Justice Sachar committee recommendations.

The Seeds Act of 2004 banning possession of conventional seeds would only promote multi-national companies and genetically engineered seed sellers. Hence, amendments should be made to protect the conventional seeds and agriculture.

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