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Have to be flexible in politics: Jayalalithaa

[IBNLIVE, Tuesday, 28 June 2011 08:42 No Comment]

In an interview with an English TV News Channel on Monday, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, responding to questions pertaining to a possible political realignment before the 2014 general elections, said that in politics, especially Indian politics, “anything can happen anytime.”

She added that in a scenario where equations were constantly shifting and changing, it becomes pertinent for all political parties to be flexible to fit into the scheme of things.

“To be successful, you have to be capable of flexibility … You should know what is best for your party and, more importantly, for the people who have reposed their faith in you,” was her take on the issue.

In the same breath, she did not rule out the possibility of a third front emerging ahead the 2014 general elections. “Anything can happen in the future,” she said.

Asked about her purportedly softening her stand towards the Centre, she said that at a time when Tamil Nadu was facing difficulty due to the “maladministration of the previous regime” the state now required the support of the Centre to come out of it.

Elaborating, she said Tamil Nadu was under a debt of Rs 1 lakh crore rupees in terms of bonds and market borrowings, and the Electricity Board had run up a debt of Rs 45,000 crore. There was deficit in almost every department, she said.

“I am the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and it is my bounden duty to secure the best deal from the Centre for the State.”

Asked to why her government scrapped the populist schemes implemented by the DMK government that benefited people, Jayalalithaa said she did away with only those schemes that were unproductive, “a colossal drain on the state’s resources and those that were drawn up to benefit the DMK functionaries”.

Besides, she said her government had set up only one commission of inquiry-to probe the alleged irregularities in the construction of the new secretariat complex.

Embargo against Lanka

Strongly arguing her case for economic embargo against Sri Lanka, Jayalalithaa said that the Centre should push the neighbour to accord equal rights to Tamils and rehabilitate them to enable them to live with dignity.

She said she had brought in a resolution in the State Assembly demanding that those guilty of war crimes in Sri Lanka be declared war criminals by the United Nations and proceeded against at the International Criminal Court.

Till that was achieved, an economic embargo must be declared by the Indian government against Lanka.

Katchatheevu row

The other resolution pertained to the retrieval of Katchatheevu island. Jayalalithaa said she had filed a case at the Supreme Court seeking a direction to declare the ceding of island as null and void.

She recalled the proposal for ceding Berubari in West Bengal to Pakistan in the 1960s that was scuttled by the then West Bengal Chief Minister B C Roy.

He had approached the Supreme Court against the proposal, which ordered that for any part of Indian territory to be ceded to any other country, the proposal has to be placed before both Houses of Parliament, ratified by them and a Constitutional Amendment be adopted by both Houses.

Katchatheevu was ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974 without any such procedure and the then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Karunanidhi, did not do anything to stop it, Jayalalithaa charged. “Why didn’t he approach the Supreme Court?” she wondered.

[Full Coverage]

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