Monday, Jan 20, 2003
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By R. Rajaram
A meeting organised in connection with the 86th birth anniversary of the party founder M.G. Ramachandran provided the forum for the AIADMK to launch its campaign.
Interestingly, the meeting, attended by 10 ministers and frontline party functionaries was held at the same venue, where the Congress organised its show.
If the Congress roped in leaders of like-minded secular parties to launch a scathing attack on the AIADMK Government for pursuing "anti-people" policies, the ruling party brought D. Kumaradas and M. A. Hakeem, MLAs of the newly- floated Tamil Maanila Kamaraj Congress, who parted company with the erstwhile TMC, to assail the Congress and the DMK.
Attacking their arch-rival DMK and the Congress, the AIADMK speakers appealed to the electorate to teach a lesson to the Opposition.
The AIADMK had taken the byelection as a challenge, the speakers said and pooh-poohed the Congress' claim that Sattankulam was its "fort". The party had`` failed to address the problems faced by the constituency''.
The Housing Minister, Anitha R. Radhakrishnan, said the DMK, while remaining an ally of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance Government at the Centre, snapped its ties with the BJP at the State level.
The Social Welfare Minister, B. Valarmathi, said confusion prevailed in the Congress over choosing a candidate for the February 26 byelection. The party treasurer and MP, Dindigul C. Srinivasan, claimed that the transport and electricity sectors recorded huge losses during the DMK rule.
Defending the Anti-conversion Act, the Labour Welfare Minister, Anwar Rhazza, said it was only aimed against forcible conversions.
Taking a swipe at the Congress, Dr. Kumaradas said it had won in Sattankulam with either DMK or AIADMK support.
Mr. Hakeem said the Congressmen had no locus standi to talk of national integration as Karnataka, ruled by the Congress, refused to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.
The PWD Minister, O. Paneerselvam, the Adi Dravidar Welfare Minister, S. Karuppusamy, the Electricity and Industries Minister, Nainar Nagendran, the AIADMK propaganda secretary, O.S. Manian, and the Rajya Sabha member, S.S. Chandran, spoke.
`Karunanidhi to blame for State ills'
Our Udhagamandalam Staff Reporter reports:
"The former Chief Minister, M.Karunanidhi, was interested only in promoting dynastic politics and ensuring the well-being of his immediate family members, whereas MGR and the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, devoted their lives to developing Tamil Nadu,'' the Forest Minister, R.Vaithilingam, said today.
Addressing a public meeting organised at Udhagamandalam in connection with the birth anniversary of MGR, he described the DMK chief as being self-centred, and blamed him for the ills plaguing the State. Alleging that the former Union Minister, Murasoli Maran, was responsible for economic problems including the crisis in the tea industry, Mr. Vaithilingam claimed that Ms.Jayalalithaa, on the contrary, was braving odds in trying to set matters right. Effective promotion of the self-help groups concept paved the way for all-round development of a large number of women.
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