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UDF MPs accused of betraying Kerala’s financial interests

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KOTTAYAM (KERALA), Dec 13: Kerala finance minister K N Balagopal on Wednesday accused the opposition UDF MPs of abstaining from submitting a joint memorandum to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, demanding the state’s rightful financial allocation.

Criticising the opposition MPs, Balagopal alleged that the opposition MPs including the 18 Lok Sabha members belonging to the Congress-led UDF from Kerala had taken a stance contrary to the interests of the southern state.

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He claimed that the opposition MPs had initially agreed to submit a joint memorandum to Sitharaman, bringing to her attention some crucial issues related to Kerala’s financial situation. However, they refrained from submitting the joint memorandum.

“They claim to be representatives of the people of Kerala, but they do not step forward to protect the interests of the state,” the finance minister said at a press conference here.

Meanwhile, the leader of the opposition in the state assembly, V D Satheesan, defended the decision of the UDF MPs, stating that they are not elected to merely sign on government matters.

The Congress leader said that they would instead submit a specially prepared petition to the Union finance minister.

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“When submitting a joint memorandum, it must clearly outline what is acceptable to both parties. The UDF MPs will not sign anything unilaterally imposed by the government.

“The UDF MPs are well aware of the adverse actions the Centre is taking against Kerala, and they plan to submit a memorandum to the Centre highlighting these issues,” Satheesan said.

CPI(M)’s Rajya Sabha MP Elamaram Kareem alleged that the UDF MPs have once again deceived the people of Kerala by refraining from submitting a joint memorandum to the Finance Ministry.

After waiting for a week for the UDF MPs, LDF MPs finally met Finance Minister Sitharaman in New Delhi on Tuesday and submitted the memorandum, he said.

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During the last Parliament session, the UDF MPs had taken the same stand without respecting the interests of the state, he alleged in a Facebook post.

Kareem said that based on the understanding reached in the meeting of MPs convened by the chief minister, the petition was prepared and handed over to the UDF MPs last week.

Two days later, the UDF MPs returned the petition, alleging that it contained praise for the state government, he said.

Kareem further claimed that this portion was later omitted, and another version was prepared.

However, after holding onto this version for two days, the UDF MPs insisted that they would cooperate in submitting the petition only if lines accusing the state finance department were added, he claimed.

“The UDF MPs are adopting a policy of undermining the development dreams of the state by succumbing to narrow political thinking. They are constantly raising allegations against the interests of Kerala in Parliament,” Kareem alleged.

It is an act of backstabbing the people of Kerala, he said. (PTI)

 

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