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|March 23, 1998||
Jaya did not get anything in BJP's national agenda, says Karunanidhi
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today accused All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary J Jayalalitha of failing to extract any concrete commitment on vital issues concerning the state in the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government's national agenda.
Replying to the debate on the motion of thanks to the governor for her address to the state assembly, he said all issues including the vexatious Cauvery water dispute, the sensitive 69 per cent reservation and according official status to Tamil language were only vaguely mentioned in the agenda.
Stating that he was not pointing out the deficiencies just to level charges against Jayalalitha, he said the AIADMK leadership should ensure that the issues were incorporated in the agenda in more concrete terms and the interests of the state were protected.
Otherwise, it would only lend credence to the allegations that Jayalalitha had a 'hidden agenda' against the DMK government and was only keen on getting some portfolios while extending her support to the BJP government, he said.
Karunanidhi regretted that there was not even a mention of the word 'Cauvery' in the agenda.
Reading out the relevant portion, he said according to the agenda, a national water policy would be framed before resolving the issue.
This only echoed the views of Union minister and former Karnataka chief minister Ramakrishna Hegde and went against the interests of the state, he added.
Similarly, on the reservation issue, when Jayalalitha was reported to have demanded protection of the 69 per cent reservation for backward classes in the state, the agenda says: 'We will provide legal protection to the existing percentage of reservation in educational institutions at the state level'.
Stating that the agenda talked only about reservation in educational institutions and not in employment, Karunanidhi said this led to apprehensions whether the people of the state would be deprived of reservation in employment.
On the language policy also, the agenda was very vague, he said, adding that it only suggested that a committee be set up to study the feasibility of including all the 19 languages in the Eighth Schedule and according them official status. This gave rise to an impression that the chances of Tamil getting official language status were bleak, he added.
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