AIADMK promises to scrap expansion of Kattupalli port

CM promises to set up pilgrim house in Vedaranyam, memorial for freedom fighter Sardar Vedaranyam in Mayiladuthurai
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami campaigning in Mayiladuthurai on Thursday | express ressress
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami campaigning in Mayiladuthurai on Thursday | express ressress

NAGAPATTINAM/MAYILADUTHURAI:The AIADMK on Thursday promised that it will not implement any project that would adversely affect the State, and said the Kattupalli Port expansion project would be scrapped permanently. Speaking at a campaign in Ponneri, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said, “We have heeded to requests from this constituency, especially from the fisherfolk, and decided to scrap the port expansion project once and for all.”

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said that the DMK has always remained in the news for its corrupt practices and it scaled a new high in 2014 with its ‘corruption in air’. He was making a veiled reference to the alleged 2G spectrum scam, while campaigning for AIADMK candidates in Nagapattinam and Mayiladuthurai.

Palaniswami said, “The DMK is the only party whose government was dismissed for corruption. Now, DMK president MK Stalin is calling us corrupt and trying to defame us. Our hearts are light and we have nothing to fear. It is the DMK which has to worry as people haven’t forgotten its corrupt practices.”

The Opposition parties are trying to paint themselves as saviours of the minorities. “However, it is the AIADMK government which has remained their true protector. In the last four-and-a-half years, my government has ensured them a peaceful and happy life, and has been safeguarding their interests,” Palaniswami said, adding that it would develop further if the AIADMK alliance’s candidate T Kathiravan gets elected. While campaigning in Sembanarkoil, Palaniswami hailed incumbent MLA and contestant S Pavunraj for being persistent in finding solution to issues. 

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami greets supporters during an election
campaign in Tiruvarur district on Thursday

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The Chief Minister also dared Stalin to visit Poompuhar if the latter is confident of winning in all 234 constituencies. “Stalin deserves a Nobel Prize for lying. He asked who Palaniswami was when I took charge as Chief Minister. Now, he is showing people who I am,” the Chief Minister said. T aking a jibe at ‘dynasty politics’ in the DMK, Palaniswami said at least 20 ‘heirs’ of DMK functionaries are contesting along with Stalin’s son Udhayanithi Stalin.

“This election will put an end to their dynasty politics,” Palaniswami added. Mayiladuthurai district will not face any water-related issue once Godavari and Cauvery rivers are interlinked. “We will not have to depend on Karnataka once this project is implemented. Our ministers have already spoken to Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, who have promised help,” Palaniswami said. Tamil Nadu has won awards at national levels, an achievement which the DMK could never boast of, the CM said. “The State was gripped by power outages during the DMK’s regime.

Now, TN is a power-surplus State.” He also sought support for Vedaranyam candidate and Textiles Minister OS Manian. Hailing Manian as a dedicated worker, Palaniswami said, “Stalin’s family has turned into a corporate company. Why does Stalin get angry if I call myself a farmer? I have been carrying out farming and I own lands since the time of my grandfather.” T alking about NEET, Palaniswami said Stalin was lying that the AIADMK does not oppose the test, when it was actually the DMK, which was in alliance with the Congress which introduced NEET.

Palaniswami also listed out various projects that are underway in the two districts. He promised to set up a pilgrim house in Vedaranyam, memorial for freedom fighter Sardar Vedaranyam, a fish landing centre in Samanthampettai, a memorial for Maraimalai Adigal in Nagapattinam, concrete houses for fishermen and the underprivileged. H e also promised a hike in fuel subsidy for fishermen, increase in ban period assistance and number of working days under MGNREGS from 100 to 150 days. Seeking support for PMK candidate ‘Sithamalli’ A Palanisamy in Mayiladuthurai, the CM said, “People have started thinking about who will work for them and solve their issues.

There is no place for dynasty politics in TN anymore.” T aking about ‘Ungal Thoguthiyil Stalin’ meetings, Palaniswami asked why Stalin showed no interest in collecting petitions when he was a minister in the DMK government. Stalin, the Chief Minister said, will not have to open the petition boxes as he will never become Chief Minister. “Stalin could not digest the formation of Mayiladuthurai distric.” Campaigning for Sirkazhi candidate PV Bharathi, Planiswami said, “Former Union Minister A Raja and former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi were prosecuted in the 2G Spectrum case when their ally Congress was in power in the Centre. The scam is that apparent. Many more people will go behind bars soon. Cases are pending against 13 former DMK ministers, and they have no moral ground to speak about corruption.”

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