CM Palaniswami, DMK chief Stalin trade barbs in campaign trail

Vellore/Dharmapuri, Mar 23 (PTI) Chief Minister K Palaniswami Saturday lashed out at arch rival DMK,dubbing it a “chameleon” for shifting its stand for power while DMK chief M K Stalin trained his guns on the AIADMK, saying it has forgotten late J Jayalalithaa,who opposed Prime Minister Modi.
Palaniswami, spearheading the ruling party’s election campaign at Vellore, said DMK was akin to a chameleon which changed its colors quite too often.
“DMK has shifted its stand many a times for the sake of power and the word chameleon applies only to it and no other party. The alliance led by it is an opportunistic alliance,” he said, adding that the AIADMK was a combine wedded to people’s welfare.
Though the Centre discontinued subsidy for the Haj pilgrimage (following a Supreme Court directive for gradual withdrawal of subsidy), the AIADMK government continued it providing Rs six crore for it, he said in the city, which has several pockets of Muslims.
“Amma’s government had always been a fortress in protecting the rights of the minorities,” he said.
Similarly, when a law on banning triple talaq was introduced in the Rajya Sabha, the AIADMK opposed it and subsequently it was not adopted, he said.
Though the Stalin-led party had been part of several regimes at the Centre, including the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, it did not bring projects beneficial to Tamil Nadu, he claimed.
“Congress leader P Chidambaram had been the Finance Minister and still did not allocate necessary funds for the growth of Tamil Nadu,” he alleged.
“It is a party bereft of any principles. DMK is a family party,” he said, adding that the elections would end such family politics.
Outlining his government’s welfare initiatives, Palaniswami said the recent Global Investors Meet attracted investments over Rs three lakh crore.
“Jobs for 10.50 lakh youth have been created through such new investments, which will lead to setting up of new industries,” he said.
DMK President Stalin, addressing a poll rally at Harur in Dharmapuri district, mocked Palaniswami for invoking the legacies of late leaders M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa.
“Palaniswami is talking about MGR and Jayalalithaa. What locus standi does he have to talk about them ? he asked.
When Modi was named as BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate in 2014, Jayalalithaa had said that “this lady is better than Modi” and that was the stand she took to oppose Narendra Modi, he said.
“However, today you have pledged the AIADMK and the government with the BJP,” he alleged.
AIADMK cannot be redeemed from the “clutches of the BJP,” he said.
The DMK leader also wanted to know how the AIADMK joined hands with the PMK, which had brought out a booklet criticising Jayalalithaa.
“I would like to know how Palaniswami will follow the path of Jayalalithaa,?” he asked.
Hitting out at the Chief Minister for accusing DMK of not bringing beneficial projects to Tamil Nadu, despite being part of the governments at the Centre, he said the roads and bridges under the golden quadrilateral highway project (for the State) became a reality because of his party.
The golden quadrilateral highway project was an initiative of the NDA regime when late Atal Bihari Vajpayee was Prime Minister and DMK was a partner in the government.
Stalin also listed the Chennai Metro Rail and the Rs 1,555 crore Hogenakkal Combined Drinking Water project for Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts.
Despite being friendly with the BJP government at the Centre even before forging an alliance with the saffron party, the AIADMK cannot say that it was successful in bringing projects for Tamil Nadu, he claimed.

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