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TAMIL NADU

`DMK Ministers not performing duties towards State’

Saturday 7 May 2005

"AIADMK schemes have made Tamil Nadu the `Number One State’ "

GUMMIDIPOONDI: The All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary and Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, today charged the leaders of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)-led alliance with "placing their family interests above the country’s interests."

Launching her campaign for the Gummidipoondi Assembly byelection at Thanakulam, the village of the slain AIADMK MLA, K. Sudarsanam, she said the byelection provided a good opportunity for the electorate to "teach these leaders who had been acting against the people an unforgettable lesson."

Ms. Jayalalithaa said the Union Ministers of the Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA) parties were "clinging on to power at the Centre without performing their duties towards the people of their home State, Tamil Nadu." Addressing the electorate at various villages, including Kannigaiper, Periyapalayam, Ellapuram, Ambedkar Nagar and Uthukottai, she said despite the obstacles posed by the Opposition, her Government had implemented several progressive schemes, helping Tamil Nadu become the "Number One State."

Oasis of peace

The biggest achievement of the AIADMK Government was in making the State an oasis of peace, where forces of caste-ism, communalism and extremism could not rear their head, Ms. Jayalalithaa said. She said earmarking Rs.1000 crores for relief and rehabilitation work in the tsunami-hit areas in the State; reducing the power tariff for domestic consumers; supplying free dhotis and sarees for 2.22 crore people below the poverty line; distributing 1.88 crore ration cards, including 37 lakh cards for the poor; hiking the procurement price of milk and issuing free bus pass for school students were some of the Government’s achievements. Introducing pension schemes for construction workers, providing scholarship for weavers’ children from Standard IX to XII, wage revision for 86 lakh farm workers and supplying of free textbooks for 97 lakh children upto Standard X were some others she cited.

`Promising youngster’

Ms. Jayalalithaa appealed to the electorate to vote for the AIADMK in the byelection to help continue the the State’s march on a path of development. She described the party candidate, K. S. Vijayakumar, as a "promising youngster" who wanted to serve the people on the footsteps of his father, the late Sudarsanam, who had been a loyal party worker since the AIADMK’s formation in 1972.

Ms. Jayalalithaa was accorded rousing receptions at several places by party activists.

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