COIMBATORE/UDHAGAMANDALAM: Rubbishing predecessor O Panneerselvam’s claims, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Friday said no one but the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was responsible for his rise in politics.
Palaniswami was responding to a newspaper report quoting Paneerselvam as saying that Palaniswami owed his rise in politics to the former. “Not only I, all AIADMK workers and office-bearers owe their rise in politics to MGR and Jayalalithaa,” he said.
He was speaking at the inauguration of the 121st flower show on Friday at the Government Botanical Garden in Udhagamandalam. “In yesterday’s (Thursday’s) newspaper I saw an interview with a person, who said he was responsible for my rise in politics. It is wrong,” Palaniswami said. “I entered politics in 1974 and joined the AIADMK. I started my party work as branch secretary of my small village, Sivanmalai. In 1989, when Jayalalithaa faced the election under ‘Rooster’ symbol, I contested the Edappadi seat and won. Again in 1991, I won from Edappadi,” he added.
Lauding Jayalalithaa’s welfare schemes, the chief minister said: “Amma has given to us as many schemes as the number of flowers Ooty can boast of.” In 1995, Jayalalithaa inaugurated the 100th flower show at the Government Botanical Garden. “Ever since it became famous. She donated 4,000 varieties of roses to the flower show once,” he said.
Palaniswami also used the occasion to remind the people of The Nilgiris of the special welfare schemes which the late leader had implemented for them and read out a long list of schemes. The flower show, which will continue till Sunday, is expected to attract around two lakh visitors.
More than 15,000 potted plants and over four lakh flowers are on show, giving visitors the opportunity to see them all under one roof. Oriental and Asiatic lilies, French marigolds, petunias, salvias, begonias, asters, balsams, carnations, chrysanthemums, zenias and verbenas are among the 200 varieties of plants in bloom.