Goyal said unless there was a change in government, he would be unable to make a significant impact.

Tamil Nadu a part of the country I cannot reach out to Union Minister Piyush Goyal
news Sunday, March 27, 2016 - 14:00

Speaking at the CII Young India meet in New Delhi, MoS for Power Piyush Goyal hit out at the Jayalalithaa government, calling Tamil Nadu “a state within a state, a part of the country where I cannot reach out to the Chief Minister.”

Referring to repeated attempts to reach out to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, he said unless there was a change in government, he would be unable to make a significant impact.

“I have made several attempts to contact leaders in the Jayalalithaa government. I have access to 28 states in this country, but for the 29th state when I want to talk to someone, I can’t. I call up and talk to the Power Minister of the state, and he says he will get back to me after he speaks with Amma.” 

Slamming the AIADMK MPs’ performance in the Parliament, he said they couldn't "open their mouth" unless their script was sanitized or vetted by Amma. On one occasion, Goyal had successfully reached out to the Chief Minister, but no reforms had seen the light since. “I was only able to reach out to the CM once in 22 months and that too through many back channels. She promised to send a team to discuss power sector reforms, and the team met me. But to date they haven’t signed up."

Comparing the state with Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, he lauded the two for putting ideology aside and welcoming his suggestions, and said Tamil Nadu's political colour was hindering reforms. “The UP CM wrote back saying they’d be happy to implement reforms, which makes it a win-win situation for everyone. 10 days after the elections, Bihar accepted our reforms as well."

AIADMK spokesperson CR Saraswathi retorted saying, “The Centre needs to first implement the many suggestions we have brought to them for the good of Tamil Nadu. They have not implemented a single one, so until they do that, we cannot dance to the tune of the central ministers.”

On the issue of the MPs’ performance in Parliament, she said, “We want the party to have one voice. Everyone must be clear on the party’s stance. When a DMK spokesperson says something, the party immediately issues a statement saying that it was his own opinion and not the party’s stance. We stick to our stance, unlike other parties.”

BJP National Secretary H Raja seconded Goyal's statement saying the state ministers having to consult the Chief Minister on the smallest matters is a hindrance. "Though there are so many ministers, it is as good as having only one. Even in the Chembarambakkam issue, a definite decision was not taken unless the Chief Minister was concerned despite it being a time bound issue," he said.

DMK spokesperson, TKS Elangovan said the government's only focus was on writing letters to the Centre and not actual reforms. “For the past 5 years, only if the Chief Minister wishes, she will inform people. Everybody is afraid of making a decision otherwise. When the DMK was in power, the Chief Minister would go to New Delhi to discuss reforms. She just writes letters and does nothing else, her own state ministers cannot meet her. Only if she wishes to speak to someone, she will. There is no follow up of those letters she sends either.”

 

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