Govt. whip questions AINRC chief

Government whip R.K.R. Anantharaman on Thursday said Opposition leader and chief of AINRC N. Rangasamy has no right to speak on Statehood after being silent on the issue for almost five years.

Addressing a press conference here, the Congress leader said the AINRC was founded on the premise of getting Statehood for the Union Territory in 2011. The AINRC did not take any step to achieve Statehood while in power for five years. The party shared a very cordial relationship with the BJP when Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power at the Centre in 2014, he said.

The Opposition leader did not prevail upon the NDA government to accord Statehood for the Union Territory. For the last five years, when the ruling Congress was fighting with the Lt. Governor to protect the rights of the Union Territory, the Opposition leader maintained total silence on the issue, he added. The AINRC chief had only made the statement urging political parties to boycott the Assembly election for getting political mileage, he said.

Questioning Mr. Namassivayam (a former Congress Minister who recently joined BJP) for his criticism of Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy, Mr. Anantharaman said the Union Territory used to receive around 70% grant as Central assistance. The assistance had now come down drastically.

If the former Minister had differences of opinion, he should not have waited for almost five years to quit the government. “While being in the Congress, Mr. Namassivayam used to criticise the BJP for creating insecurity to minorities and now he is preaching for the BJP. I am ready to have an open debate with him,” he said.

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