Senior Congress leader and Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has challenged Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to spell out a single major scheme initiated by her government after she came to power in 2011. He was campaigning for his son and Congress nominee Karti P. Chidambaram on Sunday in this sprawling Lok Sabha constituency.

Listing out the achievements made by him in this constituency during the last five years such as three national highways at a total cost of Rs 1,500 crore, expansion of National Textiles Corporation at a cost of Rs. 63 crore and establishment of a unit of BHEL, he asked Ms Jayalalithaa whether she could list at least one such project.

While addressing an election rally in Karaikudi recently, Ms. Jayalalithaa could only talk about the freebies such as distribution of mixies and grinders, he told a roadside meeting here.

After having won from Sivaganga in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, he had visited the constituency 95 times, Mr. Chidambaram said and asked what was the use of Ms. Jayalalithaa being the Chief Minister if she could not visit various parts of the State.

Mr. Chidambaram said after coming to power in 2011, Ms. Jayalalithaa had promised to free the State from power cuts in six months. But even after two and a half years, the problem not only persisted but aggravated. The existing five to 10-hour long power cuts in the rural areas was bound to increase in the coming days during the summer, he warned.

Defending his son’s entry into the poll fray, he said when 83 crore people of the 121 crore population in the country were below 35 years, youth should be given opportunities to serve the country.

Like hitting two mangoes with one stone, the people could elect Mr. Karti to Parliament and himself to serve in the constituency with their one vote, Mr Chidambaram added.

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