Chennai: Joining issue with his arch-rival and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on price of rice in the Food Security Bill, DMK president M Karunanidhi on Sunday said the Centre had given an assurance in this regard not only in Parliament, but the Union Cabinet has also accepted them.
He said Minister of State for Food K V Thomas had written to him on September 5, 2013 saying a proviso had been added in the Act for protecting the differential in cases where states were receiving lesser foodgrains under the Act than the current allocation.
Quoting from Thomas` letter, Karunanidhi said "tide-over allocation" would be at the issue price as applicable to Above Poverty Line (APL) category under Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS)--Rs 6.10 per kg for wheat and Rs 8.30 kg for rice.
"The Union Food Minister (Thomas) has given assurance in Parliament which has been recorded in the proceedings. It has been accepted in the Union Cabinet also. Central Minister himself has written to me. What else guarantee does Jayalalithaa expect" Karunanidhi said in a detailed statement.
The Minister was answerable to an Assurances Committee over assurances made in Parliament, he added.
The 90-year-old leader said any assurances made by Ministers in Parliament or Assembly have to be implemented and wondered how it was fair for the Chief Minister to announce that she will not accept this.
Jayalalithaa had on Saturday rubbished Karunanidhi`s claim that Tamil Nadu would continue to get rice for APL category at Rs 8.30, and alleged that UPA`s idea was to provide rice at old price "for a few months for an eyewash" and then change it.
"If the Food Minister does not keep up his promise made in Parliament and increases the price of rice, then one can argue against it and demand strongly for amendment. If a law is passed it doesn`t mean it should not be amended. No legislation is complete in the initial stages. Even the Constitution has been amended over a 100 times," he said.
The DMK chief added that the Act could be amended in future based on experiences and wondered why his party was being criticised for supporting the bill.
Jayalalithaa has been insisting that DMK had betrayed the people of Tamil Nadu by supporting the UPA initiative which she says is disadvantageous to her state.