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DMK's oppn to Centre a part of its anti-Modi campaign strategy
Changing from 'Madhiya Arasu' (central government) to 'Ondriya Arasu' (Union government) while terming the BJP-headed Indian government; demanding the recall of the Governor R.N. Ravi, scrapping NEET, CUET, NEP, the DMK government in Tamil Nadu has been crossing swords with the Centre.
Chennai: Changing from 'Madhiya Arasu' (central government) to 'Ondriya Arasu' (Union government) while terming the BJP-headed Indian government; demanding the recall of the Governor R.N. Ravi, scrapping NEET, CUET, NEP, the DMK government in Tamil Nadu has been crossing swords with the Centre.
Tamil Nadu government has also voiced against the storage of spent fuel at Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant complex in Tirunelveli and also the setting up of the India based Neutrino project.
"The anti-central government stance is nothing but continuity of DMK's anti- Narendra Modi stance it took since 2017. The party thought it can reap political benefits with an anti-Modi stand," political analyst Kolahala Sreenivas told IANS.
The anti-Modi stance fetched bumper harvest for the DMK alliance in the Lok Sabha polls and in the Assembly polls. The DMK will continue with this strategy, Sreenivas added.
Since the DMK assumed power last May, it has been calling the Centre as 'Ondriya Arasu' and it was the Chief Minister M.K. Stalin who had first used the term which riled the state BJP.
The DMK leaders cite the Indian Constitution, which terms India as the Union of States in defence of the term 'Ondriya Arasu' and not a confronting term. On the other hand, the opposition parties BJP and Puthiya Tamizhagam say it is demoting the Government of India's status.
According to DMK, the term 'Ondriya Arasu' signifies the federal structure of the country.
Stalin, also the DMK President speaking at the CPI-M function recently said: "Let us fight for state autonomy. Let us create a truly federal India."
He also called for amending the Constitution to empower the states and said the latter cannot be the 'yes men' of the Union government.
Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan at his maiden GST Council meeting last year had stressed on the federal structure of the country.
While the 'Ondriya Arasu' term signaled the direction of the DMK government against the Indian government, the Governor Ravi returning the Bill passed by the state Assembly seeking exemption for the state from the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) upped the ante further against the central government.
The NEET is the common entrance test for admissions to medical colleges.
Majority of the political parties in Tamil Nadu demand scrapping of the NEET and admissions of medical colleges be done based on the plus two marks.
Angered by the NEET Bill's return by Ravi to the state Assembly for reconsideration instead of forwarding the same to the President, DMK's Parliamentary Party Leader T.R. Baalu demanded his recall.
Meanwhile, the Assembly again passed the NEET exemption Bill and it was sent to Ravi. The Governor is yet to forward the same to the President.
The ruling party also said several Bills are pending for Ravi's sanction.
One of the famous arguments of the DMK against the Governors is: "Goats do not need a beard and the states do not need a Governor."
It is a different matter that the goats may also say the same thing about the human beard and moustache.
"The DMK which said it knows the trick to get the NEET exemption during the polls finds itself in a sticky wicket now. One NEET exam was held after it came to power," Sreenivas said.
Stalin's son and actor-turned-politician Udhayanidhi Stalin during the poll campaign said the DMK knows the strategy to get NEET exemption.
As the DMK is stuck and it knows it cannot do anything.
On the other hand, the previous AIADMK government had brought in 7.5 per cent reservation for students who had studied in the government schools as a way out to help the poor students to secure medical seats.
According to Sreenivas, with the friendly media's support, the DMK will see that the poll claim of Udhayanidhi Stalin would be forgotten and the blame will be on Governor Ravi.
Continuing further he said: "The only solution for the NEET issue is to approach the Supreme Court. But the DMK government will not do that as it cannot do politics once the matter goes to the apex court. So, the party is targeting the Governor."
Similar is the case with the release of the seven convicts in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
"The DMK will continue to keep these issues alive for political gains like the television serials. The opposition to the Governor is one of the episodes," Sreenivas added.
Be that as it may, the Tamil Nadu Assembly recently adopted a resolution moved by Stalin calling on the Union government to withdraw the proposal to conduct a Common University Entrance Test (CUET).
The resolution was supported by all the political parties except the BJP.
As per the resolution, entrance tests based on the National Council for Education Research and Training (NCERT) syllabus does not provide a level playing field to students who had studied in different boards.
The DMK government is also opposed to the National Education Policy (NEP) and wants it to be scrapped.
The government has formed a committee to form an education policy for the state.
The DMK government is also opposed to the levy of cess and surcharge on petrol/diesel and other taxes by the central government and has demanded their merger with the basic tax rate so that the states receive their legitimate share of revenue.
The DMK and its allies are also opposed to several central government projects like the eight-lane expressway connecting Chennai-Salem, exploration of oil and methane, India Based Neutrino Observatory in Theni district, nuclear spent fuel storage facility at Kudankulam.
Stalin in a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi had requested dropping the Neutrino Observatory project in the larger interest of conservation of wildlife and biodiversity and prevention of ecological damage.
"The site which is being proposed for the Neutrino project falls within the Mathikettan Periyar Tiger Corridor as mapped by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). The Corridor has the critical function of maintaining the genetic flow, which will be destroyed due to project activities," Stalin said.
Opposing the storing of spent fuel at Kudankulam nuclear power plant complex, Stalin has urged the central government to send the spent fuel to Russia.
The DMK government also tried to have a hand in the central government's sphere of activities like sending party leaders and bureaucrats abroad to coordinate and bringing back Tamil students in Ukraine, sending food and other essential times to Tamils in the economic crisis ridden Sri Lanka and also sourcing the Covid-19 vaccine directly through a global tender.
The global tender for the Covid-19 vaccine did not evoke any response from the domestic and foreign companies as they preferred to deal directly with the Indian government.
As regards bringing back the Tamil students from Ukraine and sending food to Lankan Tamils did not get the central government's nod.