Debating India

TAMIL NADU

Jayalalithaa flays EC

Monday 10 April 2006

Staff Reporter

For not acting against Arjun Singh "The Election Commission merely sent a notice to the Union Cabinet Secretary in this issue. I do not know why the Commission is so afraid of a Union Minister."

TIRUNELVELI: Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Sunday criticised the Election Commission for not immediately initiating action against Union Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh, who made the announcement on reservation for students of the Other Backward Castes community during Assembly elections in several States.

Speaking to the media at Murambu, bordering Virudhunagar-Tirunelveli districts, where she addressed the first election campaign meeting, Ms. Jayalalithaa said Mr. Singh’s announcement assuring OBC students 27 per cent reservation in the Indian Institutes of Technology, Indian Institutes of Management and other Central universities was a blatant violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

"However, the Election Commission of India, which took strong exception to the remarks made by Chennai City Police Commissioner, R. Natraj, and ordered his transfer, merely sent a notice to the Union Cabinet Secretary in this issue. I do not know why the Commission is so afraid of a Union Minister. I want to know whether the Election Commission would act on its notice," she said.

Asked if there would be any change at the Centre after the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, she said the polls were going to be held only to elect the State Assembly.

During her electioneering at Murambu, Sankarankovil, Mullikulam, Puliyangudi, Chokkampatti, Kadayanallur, and Tenkasi she highlighted the achievements of the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Government during the past five years. She talked about the Farmers’ Social Security Scheme, flood and tsunami relief and rehabilitation measures, and schemes for free cycles and textbooks to students.

Bicycles distributed

In Tirunelveli district, 30,768 students received free cycles worth Rs. 7.23 crore while fishermen affected by the December 26, 2004 tsunami received boats, catamarans, nets and other equipment worth Rs. 4.01 crore.

Under the Farmers’ Social Security Scheme, over two lakh agriculturists had been covered.

The Chief Minister received a rousing welcome in all the places and voters in turned out in huge numbers to greet her. AIADMK partymen and MDMK cadre, led by Minister for Industries Nainar Nagendran, received Ms. Jayalalithaa at Perumalpatti Junction with boquet and `chendai melam’.

At Mullikulam and Puliyangudi, she was electioneering amidst sudden downpour. Ms. Jayalaithaa will continue her campaign in the district on Monday also before entering Kanyakumari district.

See online : The Hindu

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