“Stop branding me as corrupt as all cases were foisted on me. I am not corrupt and it is wrong for anyone to compare me with DMK leaders,” AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa said.
She was answering a query posed by reporters whether it was right for her to criticise corruption under the DMK regime, during the election campaign as she herself faced corruption charges.
Ms. Jayalalithaa interacted for a few minutes with the reporters on the sidelines of an election campaign seeking votes for AIADMK and its alliance candidates fielded in Tirupur North, Tirupur South, Avinashi and Palladam constituencies, here on Thursday. During the campaign, Ms. Jayalalithaa said it was the failure of the DMK government to implement the court orders pertaining to pollution control norms, which eventually resulted in the closure of dyeing units in the Tirupur cluster.
“If we come to power, a compendious solution will be drafted to end the crisis encountered in the dyeing industry in Tirupur knitwear cluster by involving industrialists, farmers and other stakeholders in the plan process,” she added.
She hinted that as a permanent solution to the effluent discharge problem in the dyeing industry, marine discharge project would be expeditiously implemented.
Another promise given was that she would put pressure on the Union Government to abolish the excise duty of 10.3 per cent imposed recently on the readymade garments and made-up articles of textiles.
Ms. Jayalalithaa called upon the voters to root out the “corrupt” DMK government which had also been “family-centred” during the last five years. “The five-year DMK rule had led to severe power cuts, unemployment and corruption,” she added.
Later talking at a meeting in Gobichettipalayam, Ms. Jayalalithaa said that she fully supported social activist Anna Hazare for his campaign against corruption and for the Jan Lokpal Bill. “But it is not sufficient to have a Lokpal Bill. We also need a strong government at the Centre and a strong Prime Minister. But our current Prime Minister is weak, ineffective and silent on many issues,” she said adding that such a weak government at the Centre was dangerous not just to the economy of the nation but to its security and sovereignty.
To a question whether the DMK and Congress alliance was politically sustainable, Ms. Jayalalithaa said that she would like to reserve her comment on this till the Assembly results were out.
Asked whether she had anything to tell Mr. Karunanidhi, Ms. Jayalalithaa replied: “bad luck”.