Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan has asserted that he won't apologize to the people of Goa as demanded by the Finance Minister of the former Union territory by alleging that his Tamil Nadu counterpart had insulted the Goans in the GST council meeting that was held recently. Thiagarajan was under full fire over the events that unfolded in the meeting.
Thiagarajan had slammed Goa Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho on Sunday and said that there was no need for him to apologize to the Goans as demanded by Godinho. In a two-page statement issued on Twitter, Thiagarajan had denied all the allegations and said that he was clear in his position that the 'One state-One vote' factor of the GST council was fundamentally unfair. His statement has come when the Goa minister had demanded him an apology for allegedly insulting Goa at the 43rd GST council meeting that was held on May 28.
In his statement, the Tamil Nadu Finance Minister said that he was in no need to say sorry as he has done no harm for the Goans. He said that the Goa minister was vociferously and repeatedly against lowering the GST on COVID-19 related drugs and vaccines from five per cent to zero per cent on humanitarian grounds. He said that he has no need to apologize to the people of Goa as I have done no harm for the Goans.
"I have strongly advocated for your state government's rights. I do not require or expect any thanks for that as my position was dictated by my principles of state's rights and federalism with enhanced devolution. But I do offer you sincere condolences, for having such a person as your minister." Thiagarajan had mentioned the statements from the Goan Minister as flaws and said that it was highly repetitive, largely vacuous, hectoring, mostly redundant to others inputs, supercilious, and devoid of the basic courtesy of assuming good faith in the comments of other states ministers.
By highlighting that Godinho was a politician who jumped from Congress to BJP, Thiagarajan had urged the Central ruling BJP that it should impose some minimal quality control on its MLA acquisition procedures. In the statement, he said, "I sincerely request the BJP, even across the political divide, to impose some minimal quality control on its MLA Acquisition procedures. If it had done so, Goa and the nation would be saved a lot of pain."
Criticizing Thiagarajan, Goan Minister Godinho had, after the meeting, said that Thiagarajan had insulted small states like Goa and defying the spirit of the Indian Constitution. He had alleged that Thiagarajan wanted a bigger vote in the GST Council since he came from a bigger state. He further demanded Thiagarajan apologize for insulting Goa. However, the Tamil Nadu Finance Minister has asserted that he won't issue an apology for Goans.
Thiagarajan said that the "One State- One Vote" model of the GST Council is fundamentally unfair and underlined that the state government's view is consistent with the fundamental democratic principle of proportional representation, and consistent with the constitution, which allocates seats in village panchayats, city councils, state legislatures, and both houses of Parliament, using this very principle.
He said that the Dravidian movement has long advocated Local Self-Governance as the logical extension of our core principle of Self-Respect and Self-Determination. "Every statement I made during the entire meeting was entirely consistent with these two principles. Even when the principle resulted in the loss of potential future revenue to Tamil Nadu, we backed states that voted for this exception, including Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, and ironically, Goa", Thiagarajan added.