Her speech cut short, Jaya walks out of NDC meet; Modi attacks Centre over economy
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She said her walkout was in "strong protest" over the "shabby treatment meted to a constitutional authority" and asserted the meeting had turned out to be an "exercise in humiliation".
Before returning to Chennai after cutting short her stay in the capital, she met reporters and said the 10-minute cap was "unheard of" and claimed chief ministers supporting the UPA have in the past been allowed to speak for 30 minutes or more at such conferences. She said it was "utter humiliation" of a chief minister who had come all the way to Delhi to present the views of the state government in the interest of the welfare of the people.
The government countered her with minister of state for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla saying there was no discrimination as the same ruled applied to all chief ministers.
"The Prime Minister showed a gesture by giving an opportunity to her to speak first, immediately after his speech, though her turn was to come much later. The time allotted to each chief minister is precisely 10 minutes," he said, adding leaders should not make political capital out of such events.
While he felt it was not appropriate for a leader of Jayalalithaa's stature to have walked out, his colleague Manish Tewari said, "merely because a time-limit has been set and the time-limit has been enforced and applies across the board does not mean that any person take personal embarrassment to it or try and extrapolate certain motives to it".