In an acerbic attack on the Centre after staging a walkout of the NDC meeting, Jayalalithaa today accused it of treating Chief Ministers as 'school children' and charged that its "arrogance and intolerance" had grown to "exceedingly extreme limits".
“..there seems to be a plan, deliberate conspiracy to thwart, suppress and stifle the voice of those Chief Ministers, who do not see eye to eye with the Centre or opposed to the Centre,” Jayalalithaa said on her return here after cutting short her visit to New Delhi.
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister created a stir at the National Development Council meeting Chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as she stormed out of the meet, upset over the ten-minute time limit set for her to complete her speech.
It was for the first time the Chief Ministers were allotted 10 minutes for their speech, Jayalalithaa said adding “this is an insult to a Constitutional authority.”
She said it was not an insult to her but to the entire state of Tamil Nadu. “...I was humiliated today. That is a humiliation for the people of Tamil Nadu, for the state of Tamil Nadu,” the AIADMK supremo said.
“The Chief Ministers cannot be treated like school children. They have to stop whatever they are doing and stop whatever they are seeing, when the bell rings,” she said.
In Delhi, Jayalalithaa said as the 10 minutes were up after she began her speech, "they rang a bell. It was a big humiliation."
It was “absurd and ridiculous” to call Chief Ministers all the way to Delhi, when they were not given enough time, she said speaking to reporters at her Poes Garden residence here.
Jayalalithaa said that earlier even if the Centre did not accede to her requests or acted on her suggestions, it could have allowed her to have her say.
"But today, what we have seen is that the Centre’s arrogance and intolerance have grown to such exceedingly extreme limits that they are simply not prepared to listen to whatever a person like me has to say on behalf of such a large state," the AIADMK chief, who has been highly critical of the UPA Government over various issues, said.
Replying to question on her demand to notify the final award of the Cauvery Water Tribunal, she said, “The Centre is not doing and delaying it.”
She said her party MPs were trying to get an appointment with the Prime Minister to raise this issue but it was not given.