New Delhi, August 6: Joining issue with his arch rival and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa over her criticism on the Food Security Bill, DMK president M Karunanidhi on Tuesday indicated he had not made any explicit statement on the matter.
"Is there any iota of truth in Jayalalithaa's statement that I had expressed support for the Food Security Bill? When did I issue such statements? Can Jayalalithaa point out at such reports?" he asked in a statement.
He said the Chief Minister herself had admitted that his party had expressed its opposition to the Bill when it was tabled in the Lok Sabha and also cited reports in this regard.
Jayalalithaa had on Monday slammed the DMK for its alleged double standards on the Bill, charging the DMK chief with "betraying" Tamil Nadu on the matter.
She had said that party MP TKS Elangovan had said why should DMK oppose the ordinance when it is intended to benefit the poor and general public and alleged that this exposed Karunanidhi's true self.
Karunanidhi said that during his media interaction last month, he had only said the pros and cons of the Ordinance has to be looked at and that his party MPs would express DMK's views in Parliament.
"Have I spoken about the Food Security Bill after that or written about it? Did party MPs extend their support to the Bill?" he said in a statement.
Referring to Jayalalithaa citing Elangovan's remarks, he asked if the MP was the sole representative of DMK or if he was the parliamentary party leader.
Karunanidhi said Elangovan had also spoken highly of the universal PDS in the state.
The DMK patriarch, however, pulled up his junior colleague, saying he did not accept the "unilateral" media interview given by Elangovan and urged all partymen to maintain caution while speaking to them, or else such remarks could be used by someone to suit their needs.
He denied having betrayed Tamil people by supporting the Bill, as alleged by the Chief Minister, and recalled he had spoken in support of the state DGP on the issue of Special Protection Group denying him permission to receive Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Tiruchirappalli last week.
He was also opposed to the stake sale of NLC and asked if such stands amounted to supporting the Centre.
Meanwhile,Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday maintained that he supported the food security bill in spirit, but said he had certain reservations about its provisions which his party members would raise in the Parliament.
"We support the food security bill in spirit. We are also glad that the Centre has accepted some of our recommendations aimed at fine-tuning the provisions of the bill, but some of our recommendations have been ignored by the government which we will raise in parliament," Kumar said in a press conference.
Kumar said that the people of Bihar stood to benefit from the food security bill which has come into effect after enactment of an ordinance by the government last month.
He said 85 per cent of the rural people and 70 to 75 per cent of the urban poor people would be covered under the bill aimed at providing subsidised food.
With inputs from PTI.