DMK MPs petition PM, seek more state autonomy

#dailynews60 : DMK MPs on Wednesday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and handed over a memorandum seeking constitutional amendment giving more powers to States, exemption to Tamil Nadu from NEET and directing Karnataka to halt irrigation schemes since it would affect the State.

Upping the ante on its pet ideological theme of more autonomy, the DMK said states were left with greatly reduced law-making powers.

“The DMK, therefore, demands suitable amendments to the Constitution to accord rights to States in the true spirit of federalism,” a memorandum by party chief M K Stalin said.

DMK’s Parliamentary party leader T R Baalu and Kanimozhi were among the MPs who submitted the memorandum, the party said here.

Education should be brought back to the State List in the Constitution to enable states to address education related issues in an efficient and expedient manner, the party said.

A bill to provide 33 per cent reservation for women in Assemblies and Parliament should be passed without any more delay.

The Centre should take steps to protect the rights of Tamils in Sri Lanka and halt attack on Indian fishermen by the island nation Navy, the DMK said.

Several Centre backed projects–hydrocarbon and methane exploration, petro chemical investment zone and Salem-Chennai expressway project–have “already proven to be anti-farmers,” it said.

The Neutrino observatory project too has also been opposed by the people, the party said and wanted them to be halted.

Quota for OBCs in employment and education should be increased to 50 per cent besides fully implementing the present 27 per cent reservation without any backlog, the DMK said.

“We further demand that a white paper on implementation of 27 per cent reservation for OBCs be tabled in Parliament.”

Reiterating that the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) undermined social justice and provided an edge to the urban rich, the Stalin-led party wanted exemption to Tamil Nadu students from the test for medical courses.

The DMK alleged Karnataka infringed on Tamil Nadu’s rights and implementing five irrigation and water supply schemes across south Pennaiyar, (also known as south Pennar and Dakshina Pinakini).

Since this will hit Tamil Nadu and especially farmers, Karnataka should be directed to stop work and respect the rights of lower riparian State.

Karnataka should not be given approval by the Centre to construct the Mekedatu dam and the height of Mullperiyar dam in Kerala must be increased to 152 feet in accordance with a Supreme Court verdict, the DMK said.

The DMK also wanted “greater allocation of funds to interlink rivers within the state and to fast track Godavari-Cauvery River linking project.”

The proposed new education policy 2019 should be withdrawn and 90 per cent quota must be given for local people in recruitment to Central government offices in Tamil Nadu.

Besides, the AIIMS Hospital project at Madurai should be expedited and funds must be sanctioned to set up new desalination plants in Tamil Nadu, the DMK said.

The SAIL’s Salem Steel Plant disinvestment proposal must be dropped and Rs 7,825 crore due to Tamil Nadu by way of GST and others should be released immediately, it added.