Jayalalithaa must withdraw affidavit filed in the apex court, says Stalin

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) treasurer and former Deputy Chief Minister M.K.Stalin has appealed to Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa to immediately withdraw her affidavit filed in the Supreme Court for stalling the Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project (SSCP).

Leading a demonstration staged here on Monday with a demand to expedite the Sethu project, he said the project, if implemented, would generate employment opportunities and boost the maritime trade. The party would launch a jail bharo agitation and intensify protest against Ms.Jayalalithaa if she did not withdraw the affidavit filed against the project, for which foundation stone was laid on July 2, 2005, in Madurai. The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government had earmarked Rs.2,427 crore for this project, he said.

Mr.Stalin recalled that after his maiden victory from Kulithalai constituency in 1957, DMK chief M.Karunanidhi voiced the need for the Sethu project in the Assembly. Mr.Stalin said in her election manifestos in 2001 and 2004 (Parliamentary poll), Ms.Jayalalithaa had promised to support the project, but now she was opposing it.

It was she who stressed the need for a short navigation route as an alternative to the longer route via Colombo, Mr.Stalin noted. Former Chief Minister M.G.Ramachandran of the AIADMK also welcomed the project and sought its implementation during his tenure in 1986. People had the right to know why she changed her mind later and opposed the project, he said. The Adam’s Bridge near Rameswaram was not called ‘Ramar’s bridge’ as claimed by some religious groups. It was a deliberation to stall the project, Mr.Stalin said.

Tirunelveli

The DMK cadre staged a demonstration in front of the railway junction here pressing for the same demand.

District secretary V.Karuppasamy Pandian, who led the agitation, charged that Ms.Jayalalithaa, who had announced in the AIADMK manifestos that her party would strive hard for the implementation of the SSCP, had betrayed the Tamils by filing an anti-SSCP petition in the Supreme Court.

“Like Mumbai, Tuticorin will also become an industrialised city to take Tamil Nadu on the growth path if the SSCP is implemented. But Ms.Jayalalithaa’s petition has spoilt the growth of the State,” Mr.Pandian charged.

Nagercoil

The DMK cadre in Kanyakumari district staged a demonstration in front of the Collectorate in Nagercoil.

District secretary of the DMK and former Tourism Minister N.Suresh Rajan and senior leader T.R.Baalu participated in the agitation.

Mr.Baalu said late chief ministers Kamaraj and C.N.Annadurai were keen on implementing the Sethu project to ensure the development of the southern districts.

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