SALEM: Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami announced that the Tamil Nadu government was firm on the decision to not allow Mekedatu dam on the Cauvery and there was no change in that position. He also pointed out that the Supreme Court too had emphasised on Tamil Nadu government’s consent on any dam project for the river.
Recalling that the Karnataka refused to provide water to Tamil Nadu at a time when were reeling under drought, he said that construction of Mekedatu would make things worse for us. If the neighbouring government were to go forward with the plans, we will face it legally, the CM assured.
When asked about the alleged involvement of his cabinet ministers in the gutka scam, he dismissed the claims and blamed the opposition parties for trying to disrupt the AIADMK-led government. After many obstacles, the government was implementing various welfare schemes for the people and garnering more and more support from them. Hence, the opposition was levelling charges against the ministers.
While there was no charge against any government department, we will face the charges against the ministers legally, he said . He added that the charges against the previous DMK regime would come out soon.
About deputy speaker Thambidurai’s comment on the CBI raids carried out in the residences of Health minister C Vijayabaskar, he said that it was Thambidurai’s personnel statement.
Commenting on the party’s chances of victory in the upcoming Parliament elections, he said that the AIADMK would win the number of seats it managed to secure last time -- 37 seats. “We are implementing schemes initiated by the MGR and J Jayalalithaa; there are many more schemes yet to be implemented. For successful implementation of these schemes, we need the Centre’s fund and help. We will support people who help the State government. If we win more seats in Parliament election, it would help us solve many issues -- including the Cauvery dispute,” he explained.
Speaking about allegations about the party distributing cash to voters in the Thiruparankundram constituency, he said that AIADMK would never indulge in such activities and reiterated that giving or receiving cash for votes was a crime.
When asked about reduction of value-added tax (VAT) on petrol and diesel, he said it could be done only if the Union government reduced fuel price. It was because of the hike in fuel price that the transport corporations were incurring a loss every day. Given its financial status, it was the duty of the government to better its standing; only then can its many scheme be implemented. Hence, the difficulty in decreasing VAT on fuel, he said but offered to consider the request.