The AIADMK, which is said to have close ties with the BJP, refrained from expressing opposition or support for the government during the discussion on the no-trust motion on Friday and instead used the debate to raise state-specific demands to couch its stance.
However, the stacking of final tally of the floor test indicated that the AIADMK, which is not a part of NDA, did not lean against the government.
Earlier, the AIADMK argued that the Centre was “not treating” the states “impartially”. The AIADMK’s parliamentary party leader P Venugopal said the Centre is like a “mother” and states like “children.” “It is the duty of the mother to take care of all her children with nourishment…” he said. “It is very sad that there is a feeling among the children i.e. the states, including Andhra Pradesh, that the Centre is not treating her children impartially. Some states are feeling that step-motherly treatment is given to them. Again, it is the responsibility of the mother to reverse such an impression,” he said.
Venugopal said there were unpaid claims worth Rs 6,066.50 crore which was adversely affecting the resources of the Tamil Nadu government leaving the state with a high revenue deficit. He said the claims pending with various Union ministries had been listed by Chief Minister E Palaniswami in two letters he wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year.
Further, he said: “The government of Tamil Nadu is effectively implementing the Centrally-sponsored scheme for the welfare of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes. Due to committee liability the finances of the state government have been to put to a lot of stress.”
He said the state is yet to receive arrears worth Rs 1,803.4 crore up to 2017-18 and requested the Centre to immediately release the central assistance to Tamil Nadu. Both Venugopal and AIADMK MP J Jayavardhan, who spoke later, said the 14th Finance Commission had announced an “unfair and unscientific formula which singles out”. They also voiced Tamil Nadu’s concerns on the proposed Dam Safety Bill, which they said was violating the rights of the state and requested the Centre not to bring forward this Bill. “This Bill is not going to affect only Tamil Nadu, but other states as well. The Centre must resolve all the inter-state river water disputes before bringing this Dam Safety Bill,” said Venugopal.