Tamil Nadu

Stalin meets Modi, seeks operationalisation of vaccine units in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Staling greets Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of their meeting in New Delhi on June 17, 2021. Photo: Twitter/@pmoindia  

In his first meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi after assuming office, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Thursday urged him to operationalise the vaccine units in Chengalpattu and Coonoor.

He also sought the scrapping of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the three farm laws and the proposed Chennai-Salem Greenfield Expressway.

Mr. Stalin handed over to Mr. Modi a memorandum containing 25 major demands, including exemption of Tamil Nadu from the NEET-based admission to medical courses and scrapping of the entrance tests for admission to other professional courses.

He sought an additional allocation of COVID-19 vaccines and drugs; establishment of an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Coimbatore; and reservation for the Other Backward Classes in the All India quota in the admission to the undergraduate and postgraduate medical courses. The State sought the withdrawal of the income ceiling to identify backward classes; and an amendment to the Constitution to enable the States to allocate reservation for the Most Backward Classes and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes based on their caste composition.

The State reiterated its stand against the Mekedatu dam across the Cauvery and sought an increase in the height of the Mullaperiyar dam. It also demanded that the pending financial and GST dues be cleared. The State wanted the Godavari-Cauvery and Cauvery-Gundar linkage schemes and the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project expedited.

Stalin meets Modi, seeks operationalisation of vaccine units in Tamil Nadu

Interacting with journalists at the Tamil Nadu House, Mr. Stalin termed his meeting with Mr. Modi satisfactory. “The Prime Minister said he could be contacted any time over the demands of the Tamil Nadu government. We have handed over a memorandum containing the demands of the State,” he said. “Some of the schemes [demanded] are to be implemented by the Union and Tamil Nadu governments in phases [and some by the State with the Centre’s permission]. My visit has given me the confidence that they can be implemented.”

Mr. Stalin added that his government would follow up on the demands by continuously mounting pressure on the Centre.

Asked when the other election promises of the DMK would be implemented, the DMK president said they would be implemented in phases.

Replying to a question on how his government hoped to ensure these demands were met by the Union government, especially since most of them had been made by the previous governments, he said he held discussions with the Ministers and officials concerned and hoped to get a favourable response from the Centre.

Asked why the DMK government reopened State-run liquor outlets though it campaigned against them while not in power, Mr. Stalin maintained that his government would reduce the number of liquor shops “in phases as the previous government did”.

Asked why the vaccination drive in the State had to be suspended, even when vaccines were being supplied and when a clear picture would emerge, he said: “It will be transparent if they give what we ask for. The Centre has been saying that the issue of vaccine shortage cannot even be spoken about. You can understand from that...”

Mr. Stalin is expected to call on United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Friday.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 7:57:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/stalin-meets-modi-seeks-operationalisation-of-vaccine-units-in-tamil-nadu/article34844199.ece

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