New Delhi: Virtually brushing aside Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's angry walk out of the NDC meeting on Thursday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the electronically imposed time limit had helped in accommodating 40 speakers.
"I thank all Chief Ministers for complying with the electronically imposed time limit. Had they not complied with the limit, we would not have been able to accommodate 40 speakers even in this long session," he said in a subtle reference to Jayalalithaa's action protesting against the time limit of 10 minutes for each CM to speak at the meeting.
Angered by the limit on her speech, Jayalalithaa walked out of the National Development Council (NDC) meeting, alleging "utter humiliation" and accusing the Centre of "stifling" the voice of chief ministers.
The Centre was quick to reject her charges of discrimination, saying the Prime Minister had showed a gesture by giving her chance to speak out of turn, immediately after him, and that the same time limit applied to Congress Chief Ministers as well.