THOOTHUKUDI: In a scathing attack on the BJP-led Central government, AIADMK general secretary and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Sunday accused the saffron party of resorting to double standards on issues concerning the State’s fishermen whose livelihood has been affected due to the frequent arrests and seizure of their boats by the Sri Lankan Navy across the Palk Strait.
Hitting the mayoral by-poll campaign trail in Thoothukudi, where she has fielded Anthony Gracy, Jayalalithaa on Sunday said the BJP did not have a clear stand on the fishermen issue. In an indirect reference to maverick Subramanian Swamy, she said a senior BJP leader in the State has been claiming that the boats of Tamil Nadu fishermen were being seized by the Lankan Navy only on his commands.
“The State BJP has not condemned him (Swamy) for his comments. Even the Central government has not issued any clear statement countering his claim,” she said.
Recalling that she has been consistently writing letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to secure the release of arrested fishermen in Sri Lanka, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said it was because of her constant persuasion that the island nation had released the fishermen.
Training her guns on the DMK, which has boycotted the bypolls, Jayalalithaa contended that following the AIADMK’s landslide victory in the last Parliamentary elections, major political parties, including the DMK, have shied away from entering the fray now fearing another defeat. “The BJP, which is the lone opponent, is a national party which has no relevance in a local body poll. So do not waste your vote by casting it for the BJP,” she appealed to the electorate.
Stating that the AIADMK was the only party working for the welfare of the people, she recounted out her unique achievements on this front such as opening the budget Amma Canteens, Amma Medicals and Amma Mineral Water, all of which were beneficial for the poor. On specific local issues, she said her government had allotted `282 crore for implementing the Fourth Pipeline Scheme to address water scarcity in Thoothukudi. The project will be completed by January.
Sl navy Damages 100 Fishing Nets
The Sri Lankan navy on Sunday allegedly attacked boats of Rameswaram fishermen and damaged around 100 nets before chasing them away near the IMBL. Anticipating entry of Indian boats, Lankan navy had anchored around seven ships at the IMBL.