CHENNAI: In a tit-for-tat response to Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s charge that AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa had spared the Congress while criticising the DMK for the hike in the fuel prices with a hidden motive, the opposition leader on Monday said he was jittery that Congress could drift away from his alliance.
Responding to his charge that she had made unsavory remarks against Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the past, Jayalalithaa recalled similar remarks allegedly made by the DMK leaders against Sonia Gandhi’s mother-in-law and former prime minister
Indira Gandhi, late leader K Kamaraj and the Jain Commission’s report on Rajiv Gandhi assassination that pointed its needle of suspicion on the DMK.
Perhaps because of his past record, Karunanidhi seems to be uneasy over his alliance partner, Jayalalithaa sarcastically noted.
The former chief minister also recalled the murderous attack on Indira Gandhi in Madurai and the DMK’s charge that late Congress leader Kamaraj had a Swiss bank account and another comment that if Indira Gandhi applied for widow’s pension scheme, it would be considered.
Stating that the series of replies given by Karunanidhi to her speech made at Coimbatore last week had clearly shown that “my charges against the DMK government had indeed shaken Karunanidhi’s morale,’’
Jayalalithaa said: “by saying that I had spared the Congress for the petroleum price hike, Karunanidhi had shirked his responsibility in the issue.’’
She pointed out that being a constituent
of the UPA government at the Centre, the DMK had given its green light for the hike in petroleum prices. Jayalalithaa said a look at the number of slogans raised at Coimbatore rally would prove that she had condemned the Central government too for the hike in the prices of petroleum products.
Citing statistics, she claimed that the prices of essential commodities that were monitored and contained during her regime, had increased almost three-fold
during Karunanidhi’s regime and he had not taken any action to contain it.
She pointed out that Ponni boiled rice was sold at an average price of Rs 17 per kg during the previous AIADMK regime where as it was being sold at Rs 44 per kg now. Similarly, tur dal price was Rs 27 in 2001 and Rs 34 in 2004. “During my regime it was Rs 28, whereas it touched Rs 99 during the Karunanidhi’s watch, which is more than three times.” She added that sugar was sold
at Rs 12.50 per kg when she was in power, but now it has touched Rs 35 per kg.
Referring to Karunanidhi’s claim that pulses and edible oil were being distributed through fair price shops, she said there was no such facility during her regime as the prices were well under control.
She also pointed out that an ordinary meal in hotels was available for Rs 15 during her rule, but now it costs Rs 50.