Attacking the ruling United Progressive Alliance at the Centre, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Thursday took potshots at the Congress, saying 'Hand' (the party's symbol) betrayed the state's interests.
"That Hand (Cong) not only reduces kerosene allocation to the state but also jacks up the prices of petroleum products frequently," she said, apparently referring to the Congress. She was intervening during the reply to the state budget by Finance Minister O Panneerselvam in the assembly.
"We don't know how to handle (the situation)...By doing so (Congress has shown) it is the Hand that betrays Tamil Nadu," she said, referring to the frequent increase in prices of petroleum products by the Centre.
She said Centre had almost halved the monthly allocation of kerosene to Tamil Nadu to 29,000 kilolitres putting her government under pressure. Jayalalithaa's remarks drew protests from Congress members and three of the five party legislators present staged a walkout.
However, the house was plunged into peals of laughter when another Congress member, John Jacob, who was not present when his colleagues walked out, came in. He also walked out after a PMK member informed him about the Congress members' action. Earlier, Panneerselvam also charged the Centre with showing no concern for Tamil Nadu and said it did not care about the state's economic growth.
Replying to the debate on budget, he said Tamil Nadu received only a part of its share from Central taxes while a large chunk of it was being used by union government towards the development of other states.
"We don't object to that. But shouldn't they give us at least our due share", he said and asked if the Congress members of Legislative Assembly from the state will help achieving this.