TAMIL NADU

Chidambaram flays frequent shuffling of TN Cabinet

Neyveli March 29. Former Union Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, has criticised the frequent shuffling of the Tamil Nadu Cabinet by the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa. Addressing newspersons at Neyveli today he said that shuffling process was not a sign of good governance.

In the erstwhile Congress regimes, R.Venkataraman, C. Subramanian, M. Bakthavatchalam and P. Kakkan had held a portfolio for a particular period spreading over a few years and they had marked a milestone in the departments concerned. But today it was not certain as to which Minister would hold which portfolio. Mr. Chidambaram said it seemed that all the AIADMK legislators would be given a berth on a rotation basis.

To ensure stability frequent shuffling should be avoided, he asserted. When his attention was drawn to the DMK stand on alliance with the State unit of the BJP, he said it was a ``riddle and mystery.'' On the demand of the Finance Minister, Ponnaiyan, for special allocation of Central funds, the former Central Finance Minister said that although a State Government could demand it, he wondered if the Centre would be able to release massive funds.

Mr.Chidambaram said that the State Government should take steps to enhance revenue account. Any budget by the State Government had been a deficit one. Stability of revenue accounts was a slow but steady process and the AIADMK Government should initiate steps so that it could reduce revenue deficit. Mr. Chidambaram said his ambition was to establish a Congress-led Government in the State by 2006. All parties should launch a united fight to unseat the Dravidian parties in the State, he said and sought the cooperation of the PMK and the left parties. On the raids by the DVAC on the residential premises of the former DMK Ministers, he said the State Government should initiate action based on the evidences, if any, lest it should be categorised as victimisation.

Commotion at meeting

Commotion prevailed for a while at a publlic meeting held to register protest against disinvestment in Neyveli today. Volunteers of DMK-led unions barged towards the dais where the former Central Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram was present. The commotion was triggered by one of the speakers, Pandian, of the AIADMK affiliated union.

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