AIADMK asks cadres to 'drive DMK out' in its first poll rally

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Chennai, Dec 27 (PTI) Vowing to defeat DMK in the 2021 assembly polls, the ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu on Sunday listed achievements of its government and gave a clarion call to cadres to 'drive out' the arch-rival and slammed its 'false' and slanderous propaganda against it.

The AIADMK, highlighting unity, asked its workers to go door-to-door and explain 'the failures' of the DMK when it was in power.

At a launch of its campaign for the assembly elections expected in April-May, the party also asserted it supported the Central government for the state's welfare and got a slew of projects sanctioned for the state.

In his address, presidium chairman E Madhusudhanan said, 'We will drive out the DMK' and dubbed the main rival for power as an 'evil force.' Chief Minister K Palaniswami said 'let us win elections and drive out our rivals.' AIADMK coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, stressing unity, urged cadres to visit every house and recall the travails and apathy of the DMK regime, its 'failures' like power cuts, 'land grabbing,' and so on.

'Tell the people that the DMK when it was in power was inept. It is the AIADMK that could give good governance.' Apparently countering the DMK's oft-repeated charge that the AIADMK government was subservient to the BJP heading the NDA government at the centre, Panneerselvam said his party supported the Centre for the welfare of the state.

Listing out several projects sanctioned for Tamil Nadu though his party was not part of the union government, he said the Rs 1,400 crore AIIMS hospital at Madurai and nod for as many as 11 government medical colleges in single year were due to its friendly ties with the Centre.

The union government sanctioned thousands of crore for a slew of other projects, he added.

However, though the DMK was part of the Centre in the UPA regime, it did not bring such projects to Tamil Nadu, he charged, and targeted the arch rival over its role in the life line issues of the state like the Cauvery and Mullaiperiyar.

It was the AIADMK government which secured the rights of the state in both the inter-state issues and DMK, though it held the reins of power at the state and Centre did nothing, he maintained..

The DMK ushered in the 'hydrocarbon' initiative in Tamil Nadu and the AIADMK reversed the situation in favour of farmers by declaring the Cauvery delta zone as protected farm region, he said. Also, he hit out at the DMK over the Katchatheevu issue and the killings of Tamil civilians during the 2009 Srilankan civil war.

Palaniswami said victory would emerge with unity and hardwork and added, 'let us win elections and drive out our rivals.' He asked each one of the party workers to consider themselves as candidates and get into field work and slog for capturing power for the third time in a row.

The AIADMK honoured every ordinary party worker and a worker, by his or her devoted work could aspire to become an MLA, MP, a Minister or even the Chief Minister, Palaniswami said.

'You can become the Chief Minister,' and only the AIADMK gave such an opportunity and the party brass today comprised people from humble origins whereas other parties favoured only their family members, he said in a veiled dig at the DMK.

Slamming DMK president M K Stalin for claiming that the AIADMK regime did nothing good for the people, Palaniswami said 'this is false propaganda, a slanderous daily campaign and we have to keep a full stop to it.' Seeking to refute the opposition party's allegations, he listed out a slew of welfare schemes including the latest '2,000 Amma Clinics' neighbourhood facilities to cater to the healthcare needs of common people.

Opening of more and more upgraded Public Health Centres, 7.5 per cent reservation in medical admissions for government school students who clear NEET, setting up dozens of educational institutions including new medical and law colleges has led to an impressive 49 per cent of Gross Enrollment Ratio in higher education, the Chief Minister said.

Due to infrastructural upgradation and related work, water stagnation was seen only in 19 spots during the monsoon, whereas water logging was witnessed at 3,000 places during DMK regime, he said.

'When you (Stalin) were Mayor (of Chennai), were you sleeping? You did not do anything,' he added.

Asking people to not get deceived by Stalin, Palaniswami said the DMK leader visited them only during the run up to polls to make tall promises and blame the government.

During the DMK regime, 'Stalin had time only for his family,' he alleged, claiming the AIADMK government alone could fulfill the aspirations of the people.

Mocking at the DMK for its poll campaigns like the village outreach initiative (Makkal Grama Saba), he said the main opposition party merely received petitions from people and did nothing to act upon them.

Through such tactics, it won 38 out of 39 Lok Sabha seats in 2019 Parliamentary elections, and such gimmicks would not fructify in the upcoming Assembly polls, he said.

The government handled the coronavirus pandemic, aftermath of back to back cyclones effectively, and has now announced Rs 2,500 cash support scheme for rice ration card holders for Pongal festival, he said.

Also, it garnered about Rs 60,000 crore worth of investment even during the present times of the pandemic, he said. A memorial for 'Amma' Jayalalithaa would soon be reopened, he said and urged people to turn up alongwith their families for the event.

The Chief Minister reiterated that the DMK's petition to Governor Banwarilal Purohit alleging corruption against him and his Cabinet colleagues was a bunch of lies.

Apparently referring to Kamal Haasan-led Makkal Needhi Maiam and BJP for praising AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran for his welfare measures, Palaniswami said the ruling party was founded by such a leader who was being hailed by even opponents.

Organisation secretary D Jayakumar said the DMK's 'Goebbels' campaign of falsehood against the AIADMK government would not succeed. PTI VGN VS VS