Friday, February 25, 2011

AIADMK leader cuts 630-ft-long cake on Jayalalithaa's birthday

Vellore, Feb 24 : A local AIADMK leader created a record of sorts, when he cut a 630-ft-long cake on the occasion of the 63rd birthday of party Supremo J Jayalalithaa here this evening.

The huge cake was a cynosure of all eyes, when Mr G G Ravi, who heads the AIADMK councillors in the Vellore Corporation, ''assembled'' it at the Vellore Fort ground this evening.

Thousands of AIADMK cadres, who assembled at the ground shouted ''Long live Amma'', when Mr Ravi cut the cake.

Mr Ravi, who was a close associate of late Congress leader G K Moopanar, quit the Congress after he was denied ticket by the party during the 2006 Assembly elections.

After a brief stint in the Bahujan Samaj Party, he joined the AIADMK and now emerged as a close contender for local Congress MLA C Gnanasekaran in the coming assembly elections.

Ravi made the giant cake at a cost of 1.75 lakh. The cake was made in ten-ft-long pieces at a bakery in Bangalore and assembled at the Fort ground this evening.

The cake was made using 600 kg of sugar, 600 kg of maida, 8,000 eggs and 400 kg of cake essence and 800 kg of Dalda.

''Biscuit'' Babu, an ardent fan of Ms Jayalalithaa, headed a 30-member team and took seven days to make the cake.

DMDK begins talks for electoral alliance with AIADMK

Chennai, Feb 24 : Actor-politician Vijayakanth's Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) set the ball rolling to forge an electoral alliance with the Opposition AIADMK led by J Jayalalithaa for the ensuing Tamil Nadu Assemblypolls, by holding first round of talks with it here this evening.

Setting at rest speculation that the Congress was holding talks with the the DMDK also in a bid to rope it into the DMK-Congress combine or persuading it to go it alone, a DMDK delegation led byparty Presidium Chairman Panruti S Ramachandran held talks with AIADMK poll panel led by former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.

''It will be a people's alliance,'' Mr Ramachandran, himself a former senior AIADMK leader during the MGR era, said, emerging out of the nearly hour-long meeting at the AIADMK headquarters.

This was the first meeting between the two parties after both held behind the scene parleys on entering into an electoral- pact with the common agenda of defeating the DMK-led front in the ensuing polls.

''We held first round of talks. The discussions were cordial and satisfactory,'' Mr Ramachandran said, adding, the DMDK neither demanded a share in power in the event of AIADMK-led front, which also included the MDMK and the Left Parties winning the polls, nor allocation of more seats to it.

Tamil Nadu gets new trains, integrated suburban network

Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee
Chennai: Introduction of new trains, beefing up of the suburban train services and setting up of integrated suburban train network are among the major announcements relating to Tamil Nadu in the new railway budget.

The budget for 2011-12 presented by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday has also approved new railway lines for the state.

She assured the house that the capacity expansion at Chennai's Integral Coach Factory (ICF), which was announced in the last budget, would go on steam shortly.

As regards the new trains, Banerjee has sanctioned two air-conditioned Duronto trains (Madurai - Chennai and Chennai-Thiruvananthapuram, both bi-weekly.

Banerjee also proposed weekly express trains between Kharagpur-Villupuram via Vellore, Purulia-Viluppuram Express via Midnapore, Kharagpur-Vellore-Chennai Shirdi Express via Bangalore, and Mysore-Chennai Express.

A daily express between Coimbatore and Tuticorin and a daily passenger train between Coimbatore and Mettupalayam will also be introduced.

Tamil Nadu also figured in the introduction of the new train Vivek Express, marking the 150th birth anniversary of Swamy Vivekananda to be celebrated in 2013.

The Dibrugarh-Thiruvananthapuram-Kanyakumari Express (weekly) via Kokrajhar, and Dwarka-Tuticorin Express (weekly) via Wadi also form part of the Tamil Nadu package.

Banerjee announced special tourist train - Janma Bhoomi Gaurav - on the route Chennai-Puducheri-Tiruchirappali-Madurai-Kanyakumari-Thiruvananthpuram-Ernakulam-Chennai.

The train connects important historical and educational places in the state.

Apart from announcing that an integrated suburban train network would be set up in Chennai, Banerjee declared nine more additional services in the suburban services.

These will be run on Chennai Beach-Gummidipundi, Gummidipundi-Chennai Central, Avadi-Chennai Beach, Chennai Central-Tiruvallur, Tiruvallur-Chennai Central. The Chennai Beach-Tambaram service is proposed to be extended to Chengalpattu.

According to Banerjee, new lines will be laid on Sriperumbudur-Gummudipoondi and Mannagudi-Puddukottai routes.

Vaiko slams Congress for links with DMK

Chennai: V Gopalswamy (Vaiko), leader of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), has slammed the Congress for continuing to maintain its links with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) party despite several charges of corruption against it.

He asked: "If the Congress party, run by Sonia Gandhi, is really serious about the spectrum scam, why do they want to join hands with the DMK for the ensuing assembly elections in Tamil Nadu?"
" There must be two reasons, either they have got a lion's share from the scam or, it is a reward for Karunanidhi for enabling the Indian government to assist the Sri Lankan government to commit the unforgivable genocide of Tamils in the island," he added.

Vaiko was speaking after a meeting with J Jayalalithaa, chief of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in Chennai on Wednesday.

The DMK is currently under the scanner for the involvement of its party member and former Telecom Minister A Raja in the 2G-telecom spectrum allotments scam.