CM didn't bother to enlist Opposition cooperation: PMK

CHENNAI OCT. 28. The PMK founder, S. Ramadoss, today joined issue with the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, on her criticism of "non-cooperation" by the Opposition in the Cauvery issue.

Responding to her observations at Thanjavur on Monday, Dr. Ramadoss asked what was her effort at getting the Opposition support. "Did she convene any all-party meeting to discuss the matter? Did she take a delegation of MPs of all parties to the Prime Minister? When the Prime Minister came to Chennai, she was away at Udhagamandalam. Even when she visited New Delhi, Ms. Jayalalithaa did not meet the Prime Minister".

Welcoming the amendment to the Prevention of Terrorism Act, Dr. Ramadoss, whose party was a constituent in the National Democratic Alliance Government at the Centre, said the Union Government's position of keeping the legislation with safeguards for some more time could not be brushed aside, though the PMK endorsed the view that the law should be totally repealed.

Adverting to Ms. Jayalalithaa's objections to the amendment, he said it was the Centre which enacted the law. So, it had all powers to amend the Act. "Why should a State Government oppose it? Moreover, if the State Government feels that the Act has not been misused, why should it feel apprehensive about the changes?"

To a query, Dr. Ramadoss said all leaders, booked and arrested in the State under the POTA, should be released immediately.

Asked whether the December 1 DMK agitation against the POTA was necessary in view of the promulgation of the ordinance, he said that party was for abolition of the Act. The PMK had already expressed moral support for the stir.

Faulting the State Government for ``not showing as much interest in solving people's problems as in responding to the complaints of sale of spurious liquor and cartelisation of retail trade, Dr. Ramadoss said unlike as in previous years, a large number of seats in self-financing colleges remained unfilled and this issue did not seem to have bothered the administration.

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