Her speech cut short, Jaya walks out of NDC meet; Modi attacks Centre over economy

FP

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his Tamil Nadu counterpart J Jayalalithaa lashed out at the UPA government Thursday, with Modi coming down hard on the Centre for its "paralysis in decision making". Jayalalithaa stormed out of the National Development Council (NDC) meeting accusing the Centre of "stifling" voices of chief ministers who do not support it.

While chief ministers of opposition-ruled states were expected to attack the Congress-led UPA government, Modi took on the Centre not just on grievances specific to states but on national macro-economic issues too.

"It seems that there is no urgency or seriousness in tackling economic crises facing the country. There has been a virtual lack of direction in the macroeconomic management of the country," he said. Modi argued that the "continuing paralysis in decision-making does not bode well for a promising future scenario" and added that an "unmistakable sense of pessimism" was evident in UPA's formulation of the 12th five-year plan.

In his context, he said lowering the growth rate target will add to the "mood of despondency and pessimism in the country" and "cast increasing doubts on the India growth story."

"Little concern has been shown for the constant agony that millions of Indians are forced to undergo on a daily basis because of rising prices. The Central government has failed to exercise due diligence and financial discipline in controlling its fiscal deficit and ensuring rationalisation and effective targeting of subsidies," Modi said.

Jayalalithaa took her political opposition to the UPA to a new level, accusing it of restricting speeches of chief ministers who do not support it to 10 minutes.

The CMs were told a day in advance that they were expected to complete their speeches in 10 minutes due to time constraints. But Jayalalithaa turned red when the bell rang 10 minutes into her speech indicating she should conclude. A furious AIADMK chief walked out after asking that her speech - in which she referred to the UPA as a "minority ruling coterie" - be taken as read.

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