Winter Session Of TN Assembly Begins Today

Chennai, October 23: | Updated: Oct 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
The week-long winter session of Tamil Nadu Assembly will begin on Thursday.

The realigned opposition parties would be unleashing all their lung power to create a storm to assail the ruling AIADMK.

The White Paper on the state economy, the state budget and the several announcements by the chief Minister Ms J Jayalaithaa and the finance minister Mr C Ponnaiyan had not been able to initiate any action for the much-needed economic revival of the state.

Still worse, the government has not been able to take the people and the opposition parties along with it to implement its plans to slash the mounting subsidies, salary and pension bills.

The entire working class, trade unions, government employees, college teachers and staff, university students, workers of the Highway Department, weavers, fishermen, farmers and the unorgansied labourers in the Cauvery Delta region are up in arms against the government policies and economy measures that they fear would erode their rights, and livelihood.

The futile efforts of the government, of the legal luminaries in the Supreme Court and of the tinsel stars in the streets to get the rightful share of Cauvery water for irrigation, the absence of agriculture in the Cauvery delta region, government proposal to stop free power supply to farmers, the increase in the price of ration rice, dropping of state monopoly paddy procurement, move to merge the government colleges with the universities, are among the major issues that confront the government. The opposition parties are getting ready to bring them up to the Assembly arc light and embarrass the treasury benches.

Among these bonfire the government proposes to present the budget of the state electricity borad, which is in an inescapable financial muddle, and about half a dozen Bills in the Assembly.

A little farther away from Fort St.George in the premises of an Anglican Kirk, another colonial legacy, members of the minority communities, especially Christians and Muslims, will be sitting in fast to protest against an Ordinance to be made into a law in the House. It seeks to ban `forcible conversions'. But the minorities fear its tentacles would go far beyond the letter of the law and entangle them in criminal cases.

Representation by their leaders and the minority commission has been summarily rejected by Ms Jayalalithaa who is determined to make the law. She has found staunch supporters in the Sangh Parivar.

Though the AIADMK supremo drove her party to power on a `secular' plank, she has lost the secular aura to the born-again Congress and DMK. In an unofficial political reshuffle, now the AIADMK is in the company of BJP and Hindu Munnani. Its election time ally Congress is moving closer to DMK and BJP has moved away from its partner in the Union government. The other parties are scurrying to take positions lest they should lose ground. All these will make the Assembly session unique with wider socio-political and economic ramifications.