November 21st, 2011
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Jaya defends price hike

jayalalithaaChennai: Defending the hike in milk prices and bus fares as a “painful” decision taken by her government, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Sunday slammed opposition parties for criticising it out of “political reasons”. Jayalalithaa also came down on her arch-rival and DMK chief M Karunanidhi for flaying the state Cabinet decision, saying he was “shedding crocodile tears” and people were aware of it.

Various political parties, including DMK, actor-politician Vijaykant’s DMDK and Left parties, have criticised the steep hike in the prices of milk sold by state-owned Aavin and fares of state transport buses. In a statement in Chennai, she said her Cabinet on November 17 took “the painful decision” to increase the prices to save the PSUs – Aavin and state transport corporations, which were left in “bad health” by the previous DMK government.

“We were forced to hike prices as we had no other choice. People should realise this and not give into the statements (by opposition leaders),” she said, requesting cooperation from people. Jayalalithaa dismissed as a “bag of lies” Karunanidhi’s statement that despite officials’ request, he had not allowed rise in prices of milk and bus fares. “He is only pretending to speak for the people. They are aware of his crocodile tears,” she added.

Taking a dig at DMDK and the Left parties, which had contested the April assembly polls in alliance with AIADMK, but parted ways ahead of last month’s civic polls, the CM accused their leaders of adopting “double standards” saying they had earlier expressed concern over the state of the PSUs.

She said prior to the assembly polls, these parties had conveyed to her their concern over DMK’s administrative mismanagement and other issues affecting people. “They had said only I can fix these issues by virtue of bold, tough measures. Let their conscience decide if it is right for them to issue statements condemning the hike now,” Jayalalithaa said.



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