Wednesday, Apr 23, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
The Chief Minister who a few days back charged on the floor of House that the CPI (M) had been managing to retain power in West Bengal only through rigging, criticised the marxists for not allowing the Opposition parties in that State to file nominations in local bodies elections, scheduled for May 11.
The CPI (M), she said, had no moral right to criticise the AIADMK Government for not conducting local bodies elections in the Keeripatti and Pappapatti panchayats when its partymen in West Bengal were not allowing the Opposition to file papers in 19,000 out of 58,357 panchayats in the State.
Citing newspaper reports, Ms. Jayalalithaa said the West Bengal Chief Minister himself had appealed to CPI (M) volunteers to allow the Opposition parties to file their nominations.
Stung by the Chief Minister's diatribe, the marxist members were on their feet and wanted her to withdraw her remarks as they were based on allegations made by Mamata Banerjee of the Trinamool Congress.
But the Chief Minister refused to budge and said she was quoting reports from national dailies.
She also handed over copies of the report to the Speaker.
Turning her attention to the PMK later, the Chief Minister criticised its leader, S. Ramadoss, and the Puthiya Tamizhagam president, K. Krishnaswami, for instigating their caste people.
Intervening during the discussion on demands for the Backwards Classes, Most Backward Classes and Minorities department, she said education alone would not make a man sane, as leaders like Dr. Ramadoss and Dr. Krishnasamy, were ``notorious for casteist fanaticism''.
Taken aback at the unprovoked criticism, the PMK leader, G. K. Mani, refuted that Dr. Ramadoss was instigating casteist fanaticism.
On the other hand, he had genuine concern for his community men who were deprived of opportunities due to them for so many years.
He said Dr. Ramadoss had made it clear that he was for social justice and uplift of the underprivileged belonging to various communities, and the Chief Minister's comment was unwarranted.
Earlier during the discussion, Ms. Balabharathi (CPI- M) criticised the State Government for its inability to conduct elections in panchayats reserved for SCs.
She warned that its inability would give a handle to political parties to demand imposition of Article 356 (Presidential rule) in the State.
H. Raja (BJP) said the situation in the State did not warrant imposition of the Article 356.
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