An inner line permit is a travel document issued by the government to allow an Indian citizen to visit a protected area for a limited time period.

TVK chief in a white shirt speaking before a mic in assembly Image credit: Facebook/TVelmurugan
news Politics Saturday, October 30, 2021 - 08:55

T Velmurugan, Panruti MLA, chief of the Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Party (TVK) has written to the Tamil Nadu government to introduce an ‘inner line permit’ for people from other states entering Tamil Nadu. In a letter penned on October 26, the DMK ally has asked for the inner line permit system to protect the jobs of the Tamil people.

He added that most North Indians do not vote for Tamil Nadu-based political parties, they only end up voting for national parties such as the BJP. Citing an example to back his argument, Velmurugan talked about North Indians campaigning in the Coimbatore constituency for Prime Minister Modi during the assembly polls in 2021.

An inner line permit is a travel document issued by the government to allow an Indian citizen to visit a protected area for a limited time period. If an inner line permit system is in force, then it is mandatory for Indian citizens who are not from that state to obtain a permit to enter into the state.

Across India, the inner line permit system currently is in force in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur.

Demand for an inner line permit in Tamil Nadu to protect jobs is not new. Earlier too, Velmurugan and his party have protested against North Indians assuming government positions in Tamil Nadu.

In February 2019, TVK organised a March in Chennai against the appointment of North Indian residents to Union and state government positions in the state. He claimed that North Indians were given positions in the state and union government-funded institutions in Tamil Nadu while the same has been denied to Tamilians. According to him, “over 1.5 crore people from North Indian are residing in Tamil Nadu and they dominate the trade sector”. The MLA has raised the same issue in a speech during the CAA-NRC protests in February 2020.

Though the DMK has not reacted to the letter several arguments were raised on social media against the MLA’s demand.

“What happens if other states do the same? Free movement of people within the Union of India cannot be restricted. Market Economics will dictate the demand & supply of Human Resources as it does for other inputs,” wrote Karti P Chidambaram, Sivaganga Congress MP and son of former finance minister P Chidambaram.

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