Jayalalithaa rejects Karuna's charge of double standard on Land Bill
Rejecting the 'double standard' charge levelled by arch rival and DMK President M Karunanidhi, AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa on Sunday asserted her party supported the land acquisition bill as it vests more power in states in matters such as granting exemptions unlike the previous version.
Chennai: Rejecting the 'double standard' charge levelled by arch rival and DMK President M Karunanidhi, AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa on Sunday asserted her party supported the land acquisition bill as it vests more power in states in matters such as granting exemptions unlike the previous version.
Seeking to turn the tables against the DMK patriarch, who yesterday criticised her for her party's support to the bill brought by the NDA Government, she sought to know whether he wants the Centre to have more powers than the state.
In an apparent reference to Karunanidhi's mention of the pendency of her appeal in the disproportionate case in Karnataka high court, Jayalalithaa accused him of trying to find imaginary reasons for AIADMK's support to the land bill and trying to link unconnected matters.
"AIADMK had opposed the Bill in 2013 on grounds that it encroached on the powers of states and sought to acquire land for private institutions. This is the same stand taken by the party now also. That was why an amendment was mooted by AIADMK that exemptions should not be extended to private educational institutions and hospitals and this has been accepted by the central government," she said in a statement.
Earlier too, the party had opposed the bill as it allowed companies like GAIL to acquire land. "But, the present Bill allows more power to state governments without affecting the welfare of the farmers. That is why AIADMK supported it. There is no double standard", Jayalalithaa said.
Karunanidhi in his statement yesterday had criticised Jayalalithaa for her support to NDA's bill and insisted that the ruling party had adopted 'double standards' on the issue.
Noting that the present Bill gives more power to State governments, Jayalalithaa asked why her party should oppose it when the present Bill gave more powers to state governments?
"If necessary, the State government can give exemptions under the new Bill depending upon the the project and also depending upon the public welfare", she said.
Listing out some of the pro-farmer efforts taken by AIADMK Government, she said, the farmers were aware of steps such as increasing the water storage level to 142 feet in Mullaiperiyar dam or in the case of taking steps to notify the final award on the Cauvery Waters Dispute Tribunal.
On the other hand, Karunanidhi was only acting against the interests of the state by being 'faithful' to the coalitions in which his party was a partner at the centre and not to the people who had elected him, she charged.