The Assembly election has given a golden opportunity for the people of Tamil Nadu to root out the “family-centred” and “corrupt” government in the State, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalithaa has said.
Campaigning in the southern districts of Madurai, Tirunelveli and Tuticorin on Sunday, she asked the voters to create history by making the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam-led combine lose deposits in all constituencies, thus creating a Guinness record .If the AIADMK was voted to power, Katchatheevu would be retrieved from Sri Lanka, she said addressing a meeting at Tuticorin early in the day.
Enhanced social security for fishermen and farmers, road-over bridges, cold storage facilities and mechanised equipment for fishermen and an assistance of Rs.2,000 each during the 45-day fishing ban, industrial developments in Srivaikuntam and Tiruchendur were some of the promises made by Ms. Jayalaithaa. She also announced that nursing educational institutes would be set up in Tiruchendur and Nazareth.
Later campaigning at Ambasamudram in Tirunelveli district, she said all welfare schemes introduced by the DMK regime were launched with an ulterior motive of ensuring substantial and constant revenue to the family of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.
“A classic example is the distribution of free colour televisions, through which the family of Mr. Karunanidhi is getting annually a minimum of Rs.1,000 from each family through the cable connection, ensuring whopping and regular revenue,” she said.
The former Chief Minister said Mr. Karunanidhi, who managed to get ministerial berth in the Union government on a couple of occasions and ruled Tamil Nadu five times, had made his family the richest in Asia. His grandson Kalanithi Maran had been listed by leading magazine Forbes as 310th richest person in the world.
“If we can add together the holdings of Mr. Karunanidhi's, wives, sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, no doubt, his family will be the richest in the world. Now you can understand as to why the State of Tamil Nadu has been entangled in the debt trap of over Rs.1 lakh crore,” Ms. Jayalalithaa asked.
She promised to desilt Kannadian, Nadhiyunni, South Kodaimelazhagiyaan and North Kodaimelazhagiyaan irrigation channels and erect barbed wire fence along the hamlets close to Western Ghats to prevent wild animal invasion into cultivated lands.
Addressing an election meeting at Kalavasal junction in Madurai seeking votes for the candidates of AIADMK-led alliance, she likened the polls to a ‘second' independence struggle to safeguard the State.
Ms. Jayalalithaa said that under her rule Tamil Nadu was leading in economic growth and the law and order was maintained. But the State become backward under the DMK regime.
“Are the people of the State not working hard? Do they not have the habit of saving and do they not lead a thrift lifestyle. This is because the welfare schemes were formulated to further the interest of one family,” she said.
She said that the DMK-led government had failed on many fronts. Power cuts, spiralling price of essential commodities, deteriorating law and order situation, corruption and rice smuggling have hit people hard. .
It was high time that this government was thrown out, she added.
Security to Alagiri
Referring to the alleged assault on government employees in Melur, Ms. Jayalalithaa said, “Mr. Karunanidhi, was complaining about ‘total' withdrawal of police security to Union Minister, M.K. Alagiri. “Why does he need police protection? There is no threat to him from the people. But, only the people face a threat from him,” she said.
Ms. Jayalalithaa said those involved in the murder of former DMK Minister, Tha. Kiruttinan, and in the burning of the office of Tamil Daily Dinakaran in Madurai in which three people were killed, were not punished.
All those involved would be brought before the law and punished, if the AIADMK is voted to power, she added.
“The rule of law will be upheld when AIADMK comes back to power,” she said, adding that police would be allowed to function independently. “Rowdyism will be curbed with iron hand and Madurai would be converted into a spiritual and tourist spot,” Ms. Jayalalithaa said.
She promised to construct elevated roads in Madurai to ease traffic congestion, improve drinking water project and rectify the anomalies in underground drainage system.