Jayalalithaa’s memo to PM Modi: From dual citizenship for Sri Lankan Tamils to Cauvery, here’s top points

On her first visit after her second consecutive election victory, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and submitted a memorandum…

On her first visit after her second consecutive election victory, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and submitted a memorandum demanding among other things formation of Cauvery Management Board and a water regulation committee.

During the meeting at the Race Course residence of the prime minister, she presented the memorandum which also demanded the restoration of water level at Mullaperiyar dam to 152 feet.

Interlinking of rivers, retrieval of Katchatheevu island and inclusion of fishermen in the Scheduled Tribes list are also listed in the memorandum.

Jayalalithaa pressed the Centre for addressing the state’s grievances over issues related to the implementation of GST.

In the memorandum, the state has also urged for the early commissioning of Unit 2 of Kudankulam nuclear power plant.

Jayalalithaa, who arrived in the afternoon, met 50 of her party MPs, the largest regional group in Parliament, before she drove to Modi’s residence.

Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Thambidurai, Special Advisor Sheela Balakrishnan and Chief Secretary Rama Mohan Rao accompanied her.

TN CM had also urged the centre to set up an All India Institute of Medical Science in the state along with addressing the issues related to NEET in state.

Srilankan Tamils issue, lifting of the ban on the conduct of Jallikattu and declaring Tamil as an official language were also among the demands made by the chief minister.

She wanted a decision to allow use of Tamil as the language of Madras High Court.

Union Minister Nirmala Sitaraman and Pon Radhakrishnan also called on the Jayalalithaa in Tamil Nadu house in the evening.

The memorandum described as “meagre recompense” the release of Rs 552 crore by the Centre to Tamil Nadu from the special allocation made in the budget for schemes to be approved by Niti Aayog.

“I request you to enhance the annual special grant to Tamil Nadu to Rs 2000 crore in each of the remaining four years of the 14th Finance Commission award period upto 2019- 20.

“We have a ready shelf of large projects that could be funded out of this special allocation including the comprehensive special package for the diversification of fisheries, desalination projects and several infrastructure projects under the Vision Tamil Nadu 2023,” the chief minister said in the memorandum.

Referring to release of further assistance towards restoration and reconstruction in the wake of last year’s floods, it said the government of India has so far released only Rs 1,737 crore from the national disaster fund against a demand of Rs 25,912 crore for temporary and permanent restoration.

Jayalalithaa, in her memorandum, urged the Centre to consider dual citizenship for the Sri Lankan Tamils residing in Tamil Nadu as refugees.

“Tamil Nadu government urges the Government of India to permit such refugees to hold dual citizenship of both India and Sri Lanka so that they could take up employment and business in India without any hindrance,” she said in the memorandum.

She also demanded the government to take necessary measures against those in Sri Lanka who allegedly prepetrated “genocide” on innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka.

“India should take the initiative in this regard in appropriate international fora like the United Nations Human Rights Councils,” she said.

The AIADMK supremo also demanded a permanent exemption for the state from NEET (National Eligibility Entrance Test) for medical and dental courses, saying it is “out of tune” with the prevailing socio-economic milieu and administrative requirements of Tamil Nadu.

She also requested the Centre to expedite the process of approval for integrating Chennai Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) with the Chennai Metro Rail as it is desirable and feasible.

“Such integration would enable effective synergies between various modes of public transport and increase share of public transport,” she said in the memorandum.

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