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TAMIL NADU

Talks are on for poll alliance, says Jayalalithaa

Thursday 2 February 2006

Special Correspondent

AIADMK starts issuing applications for party ticket to contest Assembly elections

Jayalalithaa disagrees with the view that Supreme Court has indicted her government for the stampede Describes the arrival of refugees from Sri Lanka as "alarming"

The executive and general councils of the party, meeting here on February 4, would authorise her to decide on alliances. Only after that could she speak on alliance related issues, she told reporters at the Secretariat.

She said the AIADMK had started issuing applications to aspirants seeking the party ticket for contesting the Assembly elections.

Regarding reports that Speaker K. Kalimuthu would be given a party post before the elections, she said it would be decided at the executive council meeting.

"Terrorism crushed"

Asked whether she felt that the southern States had become a "soft target," especially after the terrorist attack on the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, in December last, Ms. Jayalalithaa said Tamil Nadu was never perceived as a soft spot, particularly under her rule.

It was only in Tamil Nadu that terrorism was not allowed to raise its ugly head. "Terrorism has been crushed with an iron hand. Law and order has been maintained well and the State has been an oasis of peace in the midst of States beset with problems of extremism and terrorism."

Backs monorail

She insisted that monorail was best suited for Chennai. It was the safest mode of transport, economically viable, less expensive and pollution free. In cities where road width was less, monorail would be the ideal solution. Metro rail and tube rail would not be safe, especially in Chennai, which was now in the seismic zone.

Describing the arrival of refugees from Sri Lanka as "alarming," she said so far 300 persons had arrived. The situation brought back memories of 1983. Refugees were coming on a day-to-day basis, which meant that the situation in Sri Lanka was "not healthy."

Ms. Jayalalithaa disagreed with the view that the Supreme Court had indicted her government for the stampede in Chennai in which 42 persons were killed at a relief distribution centre. She said the court had only made oral observations.

Cable Bill

Denying that the takeover of cable TV networks in the State was a "personal issue," she said it had nothing to do with elections. The Cable TV Bill was passed in public interest and had been welcomed by all sections of people. It would be implemented after the Governor gave assent. Asked if the Governor would give the nod, Ms. Jayalalithaa said it was the duty of the Governor to give his assent once a Bill was passed by the Assembly.

The poll plank of the AIADMK, she said, would be the State Government’s achievements in the last five years.

Tamil Nadu had become the favoured destination for FDI. Major industries had set up their units in the State, including Nokia, BMW and Flextronics. Chennai had overtaken Bangalore and Hyderabad in the IT sector.

Ms. Jayalalithaa said she had fulfilled the promises she made to the people and her only regret was that she could not build a new Secretariat due to hurdles created by Union Ministers belonging to Tamil Nadu.

Earlier, on her way to the Secretariat, Ms. Jayalalithaa launched the distribution of applications for contesting the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Kerala, at the AIADMK office. She formally admitted a few thousand members into the party, including students and film comedian Senthil.

See online : The Hindu

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