Vellore: Launching his campaign for the 5 August election to the Vellore Lok Sabha seat, Tamilnadu Chief Minister K Palansiwami slammed DMK as a “family party,” and sought the people’s support for AIADMK by focusing on his government’s performance.
In the AIADMK, Palaniswami said ordinary workers got the opportunity and they can even become the Chief Minister since there was no dynastic politics. He wanted to know if this was possible in the DMK.
AIADMK’s ally Puthiya Needhi Katchi chief A C Shanmugam is contesting on the ruling party’s two-leaves symbol from Vellore constituency. DMK’s D M Kathir Anand, son of senior leader Duraimurugan and 26 others are in the fray.
Election to Vellore constituency in April was cancelled by Election Commission following seizure of cash and allegations of bid to bribe voters. Launching a scathing attack on DMK as a “family party,” at Ambur near here, he said after party patriarch M Karunanidhi it was M K Stalin (who became party chief) and now his son Udhayanidhi Stalin was on the ascendance, he said.
Also, he mentioned former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran and Lok Sabha MP Kanimozhi’s names seeking to substantiate his allegation. DMK also gave tickets to sons of former Ministers to contest polls, he added.
The top ruling party leader pointed out that A Mohammed John from a minority community and N Chandrasekaran from an oppressed community (Dalit) were days ago elected to the Rajya Sabha on AIADMK tickets.
Both party founder M G Ramachandran and late supremo J Jayalalithaa considered the people as their own family and did not have one for themselves, he said. Earlier addressing a rally at Vaniyambadi, he said after the April polls, BJP assumed power at the Centre and the question now was which candidate was suited best to serve people.
The Chief Minister said Shanmugam was the best since he has been working for the people of Vellore constituency continuously; been holding medical camps and aiding students in their educational pursuits.
Assuring a vision to make Tamilnadu hut-free, he promised high rise apartments and green houses for homeless, poor people in urban and rural pockets respectively. Only 1,10,000 houses were built by the DMK during its previous regimes between 1970 and 2011.
However, work was now on to complete as many 4,56,854 houses for poor at an estimated cost of Rs 18,423 crore before 2023, he said. Hitting out at the DMK for allegedly making tall poll promises and deceiving them during the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls and by-elections to 22 Assembly seats, he said the AIADMK, however, assured only what could be done and spoke the truth.
“He (Stalin) got your votes by unfolding his bag of lies. None of his assurances can be implemented,” he said and listed DMK’s promises during the recently held polls including waiver of jewel (upto five soverigns), farm and educational loans.
“Be it the Centre, or the State, they are not in power, based on what could they seek your votes, I want you to ponder over it,” he said. In April, of the 39 Lok Sabha seats in the State, AIADMK won only one seat, and the DMK front bagged 37 and the election to Vellore was not held. In the bypolls to 22 Assembly seats, DMK bagged 13 and AIADMK nine.
Be it MGR or late Jayalalithaa, all poll promises were honoured and the tradition was being continued, he asserted. Welfare and development plans needed for the people were being implemented truthfully, he said and listed several schemes including distribution of free laptops for students.
“In the whole of India, it is Tamilnadu which first gave laptops (free of cost) to students and it was Puratchi Thalaivi Amma who pioneered it,” he said adding the cost of a single laptop was Rs 12,000. So far, as many as 43.50 lakh students have been given laptops considering the importance of education and their future, he said and wanted to know if any other State has delivered such a welfare scheme.
Due to such initiatives Tamilnadu topped the country in Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education with a whopping 48.6 per cent, he said adding however, in the DMK regime it was only 32 per cent.
The Chief Minister wanted to know if during DMK’s regime any similar initiatives were taken to address the higher education needs of students. Revamp of school curriculum to equip students to face any competitive exam, six more law colleges after he took over were announced to address the educational ambitions of poor and backward people, he said. He also assured more welfare measures before the end of the government’s term in 2021.
To address the drinking water needs, the Vellore Combined Drinking Water Scheme (providing Cauvery water) was provided by Amma, he said.