Another initiative of Karunanidhi regime reversed

Chennai: The AIADMK government reversed another initiative of the Karunanidhi regime on Tuesday when the Assembly passed a unanimous resolution against reviving the Legislative Council with Chief Minister Jayalalithaa charging that DMK had tried to bring back the upper house only to accommodate his family members and supporters.

The resolution moved by Jayalalithaa said the decision to create Legislative Council in Tamil Nadu be withdrawn and Parliament take necessary steps to implement it.

However, DMK and ally Congress were not present during voting on the resolution as they had walked out over the issue of Uniform Education, a DMK initiative which the government intends to change.

Jayalalithaa, whose mentor and AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran had abolished the Upper House in 1986 when he was chief minister, charged DMK with reviving it just to accommodate family members and other supporters.

"When the (previous) DMK government adopted a resolution to revive the council, then chief minister M Karunanidhi`s son M K Stalin had already been made deputy chief minister. His other son M K Alagiri and grandnephew Dayanidhi Maran were central ministers and daughter Kanimozhi a Rajya Sabha MP.

"I wish to point out that the council was sought to be revived to accommodate the rest in the (DMK) family and other supporters of DMK and not to solicit viewpoints," she claimed.

She also said that whenever DMK came to power it sought to revive the council and AIADMK abolish it.

Replying to the debate on the resolution, in favour of which 200 of the 234 members voted, Jayalalithaa took potshots at DMK saying said the party was a "sun (DMK symbol) which has set and cannot rise again" and added it cannot be revived in future.

Only six of 28 states had a Upper House and there was not much interest for it even in some Congress ruled states, she said.

Noting that her party was against the Upper House, Jayalalithaa quoted B R Ambedkar when she said a Legislative Council was `temporary` and indicated it would incur unnecessary expenditure on the exchequer.

She recalled Karunanidhi`s words in 2010 while moving a resolution to revive the Council, Jayalalithaa said he had said it was being revived to solicit views and suggestions of the learned, scholars, advocates, medical professionals and local body members.

"When such persons are already present in this House, what is the need for another council," she asked.

She said the DMK government had taken steps to revive it only four years into its last term and added a litigation was also pending in the Supreme Court over the delimitation, making it impossible to hold elections for the Council in the given circumstances.