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Withdraw support to UPA Government: Jayalalithaa

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI, APRIL 11. Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today urged the Left parties to withdraw support to the "anti-people" United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government without worrying about the next regime at the Centre. An alternative would emerge automatically true to the dictum "nature abhors a vacuum," she said.

Referring to the remark by K. Balabarathi of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in the Assembly that it had been opposing the UPA Government's economic policies in Parliament and outside, Ms. Jayalalithaa said, "the Communist parties have been openly opposing the Centre and openly supporting it too. It is not enough to merely adopt resolutions at the party congress and make MPs thunder in Parliament flaying the Centre's policies. They should take a stand that this anti-people Government should go and withdraw support."

On the demand by the Communist Party of India (CPI) leader, G. Palanichamy, and K.C. Karunakaran (CPI-M) that the Chief Minister make her position clear who should succeed the UPA Government, Ms. Jayalalithaa said it was not possible now to predict the nature of the alternative. "As nature abhors a vacuum, if the present Government goes, a new one will occupy its place."

Mr. Palanichamy said the Left parties had been extending support to the Centre only on the basis of the Common Minimum Programme. They were opposed to the policies of globalisation and liberalisation. Even the National Democratic Alliance Government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had done too little for decentralisation of powers.

`Based on principles'

D. Mony (CPI-M) said it was not a good strategy to ignore the nature of an alternative. His party had been backing the UPA Government to keep communal forces at bay. Its opposition to the Government's "wrong policies" was based on its "principles and class approach."

Intervening in the debate on demands including those for the State Legislature, the Governor and Council of Ministers and the Finance Department, Ms. Jayalalithaa denied that her Government attempted to pass the buck to the Centre when it came to implementing schemes. The Centre enjoyed abundant powers while the State had fewer powers at its command. Only after doing its duty within the ambit of its powers, did the State Government ask the Centre to play its due role.

On his plea for a modern port at Colachel in Kanyakumari district to enable the country to earn more foreign exchange through export of cashew nut, Ms. Jayalalithaa said the State Government had made the demand on several occasions and it was for the Centre to take a decision.

`Use it as weapon'

Finance Minister C. Ponnaiyan said though the States had contributed Rs. 27,000 crores to the Central reserve under various heads, they were given a total share of 30.5 per cent. Tamil Nadu's share was just 1.62 per cent.

The Left parties should use their support to the UPA Government as a weapon to curb concentration of powers at the Centre.

The members including D. Yasodha, Congress Legislature Party deputy leader; I. Ganesan (Pattali Makkal Katchi) and P. Arasan (BJP) said the Assembly should hold its session at least for 100 days to discuss various issues of importance.

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