TN CM Palaniswami files nomination from Edapadi constituency

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(Eds: Adds quotes) Salem (TN), Mar 15 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK top leader K Palaniswami on Monday filed nomination from his native Edappadi in this district for the April 6 assembly elections, seeking a hat-trick of wins.

Palaniswami, declared the chief ministerial candidate of the AIADMK-led alliance, had won from Edappadi four times (1989, 1991, 2011 and 2016) and the region in Western Tamil Nadu is among the strongholds of the ruling party.

The chief minister got down from his car about 100 metres away from the local Taluk office, walked alone and submitted his nomination papers to the returning officer, strictly adhering to the Election Commission's directives as part of measures to avoid crowding in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Later, addressing reporters, the 67-year-old Palaniswami listed out the various welfare initiatives implemented in his constituency, including in transport, energy, education and health sectors, for the benefit of the people.

He recalled late chief minister J Jayalalithaa giving him the 'opportunity' to work for the constituency from 1989 and said he has served the local people as MLA, Minister and later as the Chief Minister.

When asked about claims that AIADMK's promise to provide six LPG cylinders free annually if voted to power would cut no ice with the people, Palaniswami said it will be known only after elections.

'Our election manifesto will give great joy to people, to all sections,' he asserted, adding all sections of people, including the poor, have welcomed it.

In its manifesto released on Sunday, the AIADMK has promised among others, free solar cooking stoves and washing machines, housing for all, farm subsidies and other populist measures, in a bid to outsmart rival DMK which has come out with over 500 assurances in its manifesto unveiled a day earlier.

To a question, Palaniswami recalled the party had assured it would 'insist' on the Centre to repeal the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and billed the 'Amma government' as the true protector of the minorities.

The AIADMK is contesting from 179 seats, with its allies fighting from 12 constituencies on its Two Leaves symbol, out of the 234 assembly segments, as it eyes a record straight third term, after coming to power in 2011 trouncing rival DMK.