In the midst of ongoing episodes of words of exchange between the MPs from Tamil Nadu and the Union Ministers in Lok Sabha, Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Dr Palanivel Thiagarajan has said that the state is regularly being targeted in the lower house of the Parliament. Taking a jibe at the Centre, Thiagarajan stated that the fashion of targeting Tamil Nadu is due to the reason that the state is performing well than the Centre.
Thiagarajan was responding to a question on why the Union Finance Minister specifically mentioned Tamil Nadu in her speech. He said that the state is regularly targeted by the Union government in speeches over inflation, price rise, and the economy in general, as the state has been performing well and now represents the last bastion of states' rights and recording good economic performance in the country.
His remarks have come a day after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her August 3 speech in the Lok Sabha, said that the Tamil Nadu government increased the prices of milk and its related products more than what was prescribed by the Union government and then blamed the latter for the hike. However, Thiagarajan has slammed the Centre and highlighted how Tamil Nadu has been an important tax player in the Union government.
In a video released by the Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR), Tamil Nadu's Finance Minister asked, "Why do you think only Tamil Nadu is targeted by the Union Finance Minister during the debate in the Lok Sabha?". He then replied, "This year, the Union Government's fiscal deficit in the budget is 7%. Ours (Tamil Nadu) was closer to 3.5%. Inflation in this country is almost 8%. Ours is closer to 5%."
He further said that Tamil Nadu fared better than the Union Government even in terms of the Goods and Service Tax revenues. "In Tamil Nadu, we have a functioning government that is showing compassion, social justice, and yet delivering superior returns", he added by claiming the Centre BJP is exercising a colonial power. He stated that the BJP won the elections in most states or came through the backdoor by toppling governments or buying MLAs and very few states, including Tamil Nadu, have been able to retain their independence.
He said, "The target is on us simply because we know where the constitution draws the line. Nowhere in the constitution does it say that the Union Government gets to legislate on state subjects like school education, agriculture, minor dams, and ports. All these are state subjects but the Union government wants to thrust its hands, the same way it wants to control our finances." "If this is not colonialism, what is it? So they (centre) do not like people who stand up to colonialism. I can't think of any other reason why", he added.
Why is Tamil Nadu constantly targeted in parliamentary debates? pic.twitter.com/bKVh6PgREW— Dr P Thiaga Rajan (PTR) (@ptrmadurai) August 4, 2022