DMK MP Kanimozhi raked up the usual south vs north debate while speaking on the railway budget. “The budget allocated for new lines is 59 crores for the southern railways and for northern railways it is 13,200 crores”. Kanimozhi resorted to the famed strategy of half-baked data to prove her point.
She cleverly uses the south-north narrative while deliberately overlooking the fact that Southern Railways does not refer to the southern states just as Northern Railways doesn’t imply northern states.
Southern Railways covers Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry, and a small part of Andhra Pradesh while Northern Railway covers the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh and the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, and Chandigarh. As of 2011-12, Northern Railways had a route length of around 6968 kilometers and Southern Railways covered 5079 kilometers.
As an MP, Kanimozhi should have been well aware of these facts or she probably was and just wanted to play the discrimination card as has become the wont of Dravidianists. It is also easy to mislead their target audience using emotional speeches that are short on substance and facts.
As far as Tamil Nadu is concerned, the state has been allocated Rs 3,865 Crore for projects including 25 new lines/gauge conversion/doubling. The five southern states have together been granted Rs 21,121 crores for ongoing projects including the laying of new lines, doubling, and gauge conversions.
The DMK often plays the discrimination card by hiding facts at times, speaking half-truths at others, and blatantly lying if nothing else works. It is high time people go beyond emotional speeches and the north vs south debate and demand accountability from the likes of Kanimozhi.
(Featured Image Source: The Federal News)