TN CM welcomes Union Budget, Stalin dubs it 'illusionary lollipop'

DMK President MK Stalin implied that there was no firm commitment on the proposals offered in the Budget.
Representative image of coins
Representative image of coins
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The Union Budget that was presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday prompted mixed reactions in Tamil Nadu. While Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami welcomed several of the announcements, DMK President MK Stalin claimed that the Budget offers an “illusionary lollipop” to the people of the poll-bound state.

In a statement, he appreciated announcements like the allocation of Rs 35,000 crore for COVID-19 vaccination drive. He also said that the implementation of the 3,500 km of national highway work in Tamil Nadu will boost the state's economy. He also gave the thumbs up for the port development scheme, proposals in transport sector such as purchase of 20,000 new buses and scholarship for Adi Dravida students.

Meanwhile, Stalin, who is also Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly, alleged that the Union government had “ignored” Tamil Nadu for the last six years and had given an impression in this budgetary exercise that it was implementing mega schemes for the state.

"Like showing a mirage to a thirsty cow, the Central government has given an illusionary lollipop to the people of Tamil Nadu with an eye on polls," he said in a statement.

He hinted that there was no firm commitment on proposals, such as the second phase of the Metro Rail and 3,500 km of highway work. He also said that the Union had not paid heed to Palaniswami's earlier pleas for assistance in the wake of cyclones Nivar and Burevi.

Stalin questioned the Union's announcement on implementing the Salem-Chennai highway corridor, saying the BJP seemed to say it was against farmers' welfare even in an election year in the state.

He also alleged that there was no proposal for direct financial assistance to people who were suffering due to COVID-19-triggered unemployment.

AMMK founder and independent MLA TTV Dhinakaran said the budget had "some joy and lot of concerns." While proposals such as covering one crore more beneficiaries under the Ujjwala scheme was welcome, "it is not proper" to have announced that the Salem-Chennai corridor will be implemented "this year itself," he added.

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