People need not worry about the power situation as all the power units in the State are functioning smoothly, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa said on Friday. Addressing a public meeting seeking votes for AIADMK candidate for Madurai Lok Sabha constituency R. Gopalakrishnan here on Friday, she said some of the power units in the State had developed technical snag last week and consequently the State faced power cuts for some days. These problem was set right quickly.
However, some of the political leaders were trying to make a big issue out of it as if the power cut had returned to an unmanageable level. “Their dreams will not come true,” she said. Stating that all the power units in the State were functioning smoothly, she said, adding that she was personally monitoring the power distribution. “No one needs to worry about it. Tamil Nadu will soon become a power cut-free State,” she said.
Ms. Jayalalithaa said the State was producing an additional 2,500 MW of power owing to efforts taken by the AIADMK government. Tamil Nadu was also purchasing 500 MW of power from other States. Besides, 3,300 MW of power would be bought on a long-term basis.
She challenged Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram to come out in public on whether or not the Centre had denied over Rs. 1,800 crore due for Tamil Nadu for road maintenance and under two education schemes.
She alleged that as Union Finance Minister, he had done nothing to Tamil Nadu and for Sivaganga Lok Sabha constituency from where he was elected to Parliament.
She was reacting to Mr. Chidambaram’s denial to the charges she had made against him while addressing a meeting in Sivaganga recently. “If he had done any good to the State, he should list out those things instead of merely saying that I was making false statements,” she said.
She questioned him as to why did he not extend the concessions given by the Centre to promote industrial development in some parts of the country to industrially backward southern districts.
“He does not have a heart to do anything good for the people of Tamil Nadu,” she alleged. Ms. Jayalalithaa reiterated that Mr. Chidambaram as Union Finance Minister had the habit of making higher budgetary allocation for plan expenditure and later making a significant cut in it in the revised budget.
The Centre had not given Rs. 901.76 crore funds under two schemes for Department of Education. Besides, the Centre had not given Rs. 931 crore which the 13th Finance Commission had recommended for maintenance of roads in the State.
Ms. Jayalalithaa accused DMK leader M. Karunanidhi of hoodwinking the people by claiming to take steps for providing Income Tax relaxation on pensionary benefits for retiring government employees which, she said, was already in practice.
“Already all benefits like gratuity, provident fund, commutation and leave encashment were being exempted, without any ceiling, from Income Tax in the existing IT Act,” she said.