PC rejects Jaya charge of discrimination

Sivaganga (TN): Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has rejected Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa`s charge that the Centre meted out step-motherly treatment to the state in allocation of funds, saying the UPA Government never discriminated against any state.

"There is no discrimination against any state government including Tamil Nadu. The Centre allocated Rs 36,858 crore to the state during 2005-10 under various heads. The allocation during 2010-15 would be Rs 83,433 crore," he said listing out various schemes being implemented with central funding.

Jayalalithaa had on April 24 charged in the assembly that the Centre of meting out step-motherly treatment to the state in allocating funds as it "seems to think that Tamil Nadu should not be allowed to flourish as she will grow into a major force if all her demands are met with."

Addressing a public meeting organised by local Congress unit in his native district here, Chidambaram also said freebies alone would not help Tamil Nadu to emerge as a top state and stressed on all-round development with a farsighted approach especially in infrastrcutre sector.

"Distribution of freebies to people is alone cannot help the state become No 1 Infrastructure development such as good roads, electricity projects and creation of ports should be taken up with a farsighted approach," he said.

The Minister, however, said he was not against welfare measures under which freebies were given to poor people.

Describing the Right to Education Act enacted by the UPA Government as a `revolution of the era`, he said it provided for reservation of seats in private schools to students from deprived sections.

He asked the state government to expedite commissioning of the Sivaganga medical college, announced by the DMK Government in 2010.