Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sushma demands Alagiri's removal for 'attack' on poll official

Tiruchirappalli: Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday demanded removal of Union Minister M K Alagiri from the Cabinet in wake of the alleged attack on a poll official by DMK men in his presence.

"Our demand for removal of Alagiri is already there and we will reiterate our demand," she told reporters here.

Police had registered a case against Alagiri and over 50 DMK workers for allegedly assaulting an Assistant Election Officer in Melur in Madurai District when he videographed their visit to a temple.
 The official who had claimed that he was assaulted by DMK men in the presence of Alagiri, son of Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, however, later went back on his statement and said he was not roughed up.

"The unearthing of Rs 5.11 crore cash from a bus here and the attack on poll official in Madurai District are only marks of shame to democracy," Swaraj, the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, said.

"Karunanidhi's outburst shows his frustration," she said, referring to the chief minister's criticism of the Election Commission for its tough actions, which he said had created an undeclared emergency.

Asked about UPA government's cricket diplomacy in inviting Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to witness the World Cup matches, the BJP leader said, "We have serious issues among the neihghbours it should not get mixed with cricket."

Swaraj said the 2G spectrum scam and alleged involvement of Tamil Nadu politicians in it would continue to be raised and the issue had not died as thought in some circles.

Stating that response to election meetings of BJP in the state was "overwhelming", she expressed confidence of a "significant victory" for the party.

Rahul campaigns for DPA candidates in Tamil Nadu

AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi arrives at an election rally held in Erode on Wednesday. Photo: M. Govarthan.
Lauding DMK government’s performance in Tamil Nadu, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi today assured voters that all poll promises made by the ruling Democratic Progressive Alliance would be implemented in the state.
Launching his campaign here, the Congress leader said in the last five years a number of industries was started in the State and the Union government had liberally granted funds for industrial and other development.
Detailing the schemes implemented by the UPA at the centre, Mr. Gandhi said he was proud of them as many other countries were following the schemes of the Indian Government.
“Youths are to be given importance in all fields and keeping this in mind, the Congress will give importance for them in future,” he said.
On the growing pollution in Erode district, he said the problem would soon be solved with the support of the Union and state governments.
Erode was noted for its textile industries but because of various problems including pollution, the industry was facing crisis, he said.
Mr. Gandhi, who arrived from Coimbatore by a helicopter, later left for Karur.

AIADMK will decisively win TN polls, says Karat

A file picture of CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat during a press meet at Ernakulam. Photo: Vipin Chandran.CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat today claimed that the AIADMK-led alliance will have such a decisive victory in the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls that no question would arise of the Left Front sharing power with it.

As far as Tamil Nadu was concerned, there was a strong current for change in the State and people would give mandate in favour of AIADMK, he claimed.

People were very much concerned about rising prices of essential commodities and “gross” corruption which was “at its peak” in Tamil Nadu and DMK’s “misrule”, Mr. Karat told reporters in Coimbatore, adding his party’s campaign was mainly centred around corruption and price rise.

Asked whether the CPI(M) would seek share in power, if AIADMK fell short of a majority to form a government on its own, he said “question does not arise. Victory will be so decisive that the party should not be short of majority.” The leader also exuded confidence at the party winning in Left-bastions of West Bengal and Kerala.

With regard to Kerala, Mr. Karat said LDF government was non-corrupt and firm in fighting corruption in the State.

Moreover, the Government there has taken steps to relieve people from the price rise, including by expanding PDS.

On the situation in West Bengal, Mr. Karat said reports suggested that the Left Front has effectively gained lost ground. “I am confident that the front which had won last seven elections, will emerge victorious eighth time,” he said.

After the setback in Lok Sabha polls, both at political and organisational level, the party had identified the weaknesses and rectified them. As a result it was able to win back the support of the section of people alienated from the Left parties, Mr. Karat added.

Karunanidhi only interested in his family’s welfare: Jayalalithaa

AIADMK general secretary J. Jayalalithaa addressing a public meeting in Ooty on Wednesday. Photo: M. Sathyamoorthy
The people should make the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) enter the Guinness Book of World Records by forfeiting deposits in the maximum number of constituencies, said the general secretary of AIADMK J. Jayalalithaa while addressing a public meeting here on Wednesday.
Stating that Chief Minister Karunanidhi is only interested in the welfare of his family members, she pointed out that they had brought under their control various fields including cinema, media and the cable TV.
They are seeking another term only to enter the remaining fields.
At the Tamil meet in Coimbatore, Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi had been projected while Tamil was put on the back burner.
The killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka could have been prevented if Mr. Karunanidhi had seriously considered withdrawing support to the Centre.
Exhorting the people to free Tamil Nadu from the family rule, she said that while price rise is getting out of hand, law and order has deteriorated. On the power front, Tamil Nadu has moved from excess to deficit. Unemployment and corruption are on the rise.
If Mr. Karunanidhi is given another term the entire State will be looted.
On the 2G scam, Ms. Jayalalithaa alleged that while it had been planned by the Chief Minister, “Raja has been arrested and Sadiq Batcha lost his life”.
Adverting to local issues and problems confronting the Nilgiris, she said that if her front wins, efforts would be made to get remunerative prices for raw tea leaves of the small tea growers and steps would be taken to get the Badaga community included in the list of Scheduled Tribes. A local holiday will be declared for the annual Hetthai Amman festival of the Badagas. Backward class certificates would be issued to members of the Ezhuva-Theeyar community. Priority would be accorded for reviving the ailing Hindustan Photo Films. Pattas would be given to Scheduled Castes. She added that she was aware of the problems in places such as Gudalur and Coonoor.
She listed the schemes which would be implemented if the AIADMK front wins.

Vijayakant terms DMK front opportunistic

The front led by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is an opportunistic alliance, according to Vijayakant, founder, Desiya Murpokku Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMDK).
Campaigning for his party's candidate C.Arun Pandiyan for Peravurani Assembly constituency in Thanjavur district on Tuesday, Mr. Vijayakant said the DMK front was forged with the aim to serve personal interests of its leaders, whereas the formation led by the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagm was meant to serve the people.
“[Chief Minister] Karunanidhi says that he has no craze for power. But, at the same time, he wants to become Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu sixth time,” the DMDK leader said.


Mr. Vijayakant also criticised the DMK leader for not taking steps to solve inter-State river water disputes such as the Cauvery and Mullaperiyar.
He later campaigned for his party candidate for Pattukottai Assembly constiuency N.Senthil Kumar at Pattukottai.

Jayalalithaa, Karat, Bardhan to address meeting in Coimbatore

The front led by the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) will put up a show of strength here on Wednesday at an election meeting to be held on V.O.C. Grounds.
AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa, Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Prakash Karat, Communist Party of India general secretary A.B. Bardhan will address the public meeting in the evening. While there were claims of Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam leader Vijayakant sharing the dais with the other leaders, sources in the party said there was no confirmation till late in the evening on Tuesday about his participation.
Ms. Jayalalithaa arrived here on Tuesday by a special flight from Madurai. As per the schedule, she would fly to Udhagamandalam on Wednesday morning to address a public meeting. From there, she would fly to Pollachi for campaigning around noon. In the evening, she would address the public meeting in the city.