CHENNAI: Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and former Mayor of Chennai M Subramanian on Friday clashed in the Assembly during the discussion on the demands for grants for the Municipal Administration Department. The Chief Minister countered Subramanian’s charges over many issues.
Since Subramanian concentrated on Chennai-related issues in his speech, the Chief Minister intervened and said, “The former Mayor of Chennai should realise that he is now an MLA and the demand is for a department that encompasses the entire Tamil Nadu.” To this, Subramanian said that since one fourth of the urban population of the State lived in Chennai, he started with Chennai and would move on to other parts later.
At one point, since Subramanian was harping on Chennai-elated issues, Jayalalithaa wondered whether she was sitting in the Assembly or at the Chennai Corporation Council meeting. But within a few minutes, Subramanian proved her right by addressing Speaker P Dhanapal as “honourable Mayor,” amidst peals of laughter from the House. However, he quickly corrected himself and continued his speech.
Beginning the speech, Subramanian described the Assembly as historic. Referring to this, the Chief Minister said, “If the member feels this Assembly is a historic one, why did his party shift this to a building that looks like a capsized ship?”
When Subramanian read out Jayalalithaa’s earlier remarks on Metro Rail, denouncing it as one which would not suit Chennai, she explained that her government went ahead with Metro Rail project since it had already commenced and that she did not deny her past remarks.
Later, as Subramanian hailed the DMK regime for quickly implementing projects, Jayalalithaa said, “Veeranam scheme would stand alone as the best example of efficiency of the DMK regime in implementing the scheme.” She said that the Veeranam scheme was abandoned by the DMK regime and it was she who re-designed it as the New Veeranam Scheme and successfully implemented it. “Till today, the project supplies drinking water to Chennai,” she remarked.
When he referred to a few awards that were given to Chennai Corporation during the tenure of MK Stalin as Mayor and during his own tenure as Mayor, the Chief Minister gave a long list of awards given to the Corporation for the past few years.
At another point of time, intervening in Subramanian’s speech, she said, “Analysts and demographic experts say that Tamil Nadu is the most rapidly urbanising State. This does not mean all people in villages migrate to urban areas. Villages, panchayat unions, town panchayats and municipalities are gradually growing in stature.”