Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president K Annamalai, came down heavily on Kanimozhi for the speech made by her in Parliament on 7 February.
He said that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) of which Kanimozhi is the deputy general secretary, has a long-standing legacy of spreading lies and half-truths in Parliament.
DMK Created Models Of Social Justice And Inclusive Development
Regarding Kanimozhi’s claim that the DMK is known for creating models of social justice and inclusive development, he said that a look at the numerous incidents of caste-based discrimination in the state during the past 20 months would fill 20 pages of a newspaper.
He listed out incidents like the one at Vengaivayal village in which human faeces were mixed in a water tank used by Dalits of the village, a minister calling out the caste of a Dalit woman elected as a panchayat representative, panchayat presidents not being allowed to hoist the national flag on Independence Day and Republic Day and the most recent incident of a DMK leader in Salem abusing a Dalit youth for entering a temple.
Governor Not Giving Assent To Bills
Annamalai said that while on the one hand, Kanimozhi inflated the number of pending bills from 15 to 20, what she also did not mention was that 12 bills deal with the same matter of making the Chief Minister as the Chancellor of state universities instead of the Governor.
The three other bills pending with the Governor, include the cooperatives bill that gives undue powers to the state government, a bill that allows the state government to take over any private college and one on online rummy, he said.
Regarding the online rummy bill, Annamalai asked how could the state government legislate on a matter that does not belong to the state list.
Central Government Did Not Mention Thirukkural In Parliament
Kanimozhi said that the central government had forgotten to mention the Thirukkural in Parliament because there were no elections this year.
For this, Annamalai said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned it during his interaction with students in the recently held Pariksha Pe Charcha programme and released a translation of the Thirukkural in 13 languages during the Kashi Tamil Sangamam.
He also asked why does the DMK want the Pen Statue for Karunanidhi to be 1 metre taller than the statue for Thiruvalluvar who wrote the Thirukkural.
Use Of Global Indices That Have Been Called Out For Flaws In Their Methodology
During her speech, Kanimozhi referred to the Global Hunger Index, according to which India's rank had slipped from 101 in 2021 to 107 in 2022.
Annamalai said that this and many other indices had been called out by the Indian government for their deficiencies and flawed methodology like having a small sample size of just 3000.
He added that she had conveniently forgotten to cite an International Monetary Fund (IMF) report that said the food security measures of the Modi government had prevented the rise of extreme poverty during the pandemic.
Issue Of Job Creation
Regarding the issue of the rise in unemployment, Annamalai said that the Modi government had promised 10 lakh jobs to youth in the central government, of which it had already provided 2.17 lakh.
Examining the DMK's record on the matter, he said that the party had forgotten its promise of providing 10 lakh jobs every year.
Central Government Not Concerned About Tribals
Putting out the increase in budget allocation for tribal welfare, he said that even the President wouldn't agree to Kanimozhi's accusation.
While the allocation in 2013-14 was Rs 4295.94 crore, in 2022-23, it was Rs 12,461.88 crore.
Allocation For Sanskrit
Regarding the allocation for Sanskrit being much more than that of Tamil, Annamalai responded by stating the allocations for Tamil during the rule of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) of which the DMK was a major partner. He said that during the 8 years of UPA rule, the total allocation to Tamil was Rs 75.05 crore and that of Sanskrit was Rs 675.36 crore.
He added that DMK MPs always talk about higher allocation to Sanskrit without understanding the purpose behind it.
Allocation For Railway Projects
Annamalai said that it was wrong to say that Tamil Nadu was being allocated less funds, when the truth is that the state had got seven times more than its average allocation during the UPA 2 rule.
While the average outlay for the state during the UPA 2 rule was Rs 879 crore, the allocation for 2023-24 alone by the Modi government was Rs 6080 crore.
S Rajesh is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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