VELLORE: Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has announced that the inter-state river link project of diverting excess water from Thenpennai river in Krishnagiri district to Palar in Vellore district would be implemented soon.
He said that the Central government had given its nod for the `66-crore project and the State government would go ahead with the project soon, amidst cheer from the audience while addressing a large gathering of party cadre and the general public at the MGR centenary celebrations held here at the Fort Grounds on Saturday.
Pepping up the cadres, he said that they should stand united to fulfil the dreams and visions of the founder of the party MGR and his successor Jayalalithaa. “Never fall prey to divisive forces,” he added. He said that Vellore had a long-standing association with late MGR.
He also handed over welfare assistance to the tune of `275 crores to 34,170 beneficiaries, inaugurated new schemes valued `66 crores and laid foundation to new schemes of `12 crores under various departments.
Deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam while explaining how MGR had tried to protect the people and the party until his last breath and how Jayalalithaa had fought against bad forces, said that as followers of these two great leaders, “every one of us should prepare to protect the party.”
Speaker Dhanapal, Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha Dr Thambidurai, local minister K C Veeramani and Dr Nilofur Khafeel spoke.
‘Let elections come, then we will take a call on BJP’
A day after a State minister suggested aligning with BJP for the local body polls, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said the matter would arise only after elections are announced. “How can you talk about alliance even before the elections are announced? Let the announcement be made and we will consider the alliance,” said Palaniswami in reply to a query. However, he did not rule it out either. This comes at a time when speculations are rife that the AIADMK would join the NDA soon.
Palaniswami was on his way to Vellore on Saturday to participate in the MGR centenary celebrations.
On Friday, Dairy development minister KT Rajenthra Bhalaji had gone on record that there was nothing wrong in aligning with BJP during the local body polls. He had said that PM Narendra Modi was trying to make India a super power and there was no need for looking at him with meanmindedness. Besides, the party had in the past aligned with BJP two times, he added.
Meanwhile, AIADMK MLA from Sulur, R Kanagaraj, expressed his wish that the party should align with BJP so that welfare measures for the people could be implemented if the State had cordial relations with the Centre. The Chief Minister’s remark triggered reaction from TNCC president S Thirunavukkarasar, who charged the ruling party with taking the decision out of fear of central agencies.
Fire creates flutter
A small fire accident on the stage during the MGR centenary celebrations at the Fort Grounds on Saturday created a flutter among the audience for a short time but soon it was put out using fire extinguishers. The fire is supected to have been caused by a short circuit in the electrical connections installed for the centenary function