Affirms to make the State “free of power cuts” shortly

Blaming the Union government and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) for the present spell of load shedding in Tamil Nadu, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Thursday affirmed that she would make the State “free of power cuts” shortly.

In her five-hour-long tour of the Yercaud Assembly constituency of the Salem district, which would face by-election on December 4, Ms Jayalalithaa, who canvassed votes for her party nominee P. Saroja, said there was no load shedding since July, thanks to her government’s efforts.

Pointing out that all power plants under the State government’s control had been functioning normally, the Chief Minister said many Central Generating Stations, such as those in Neyveli and Kalpakkam, had developed snags simultaneously. Coal and naphtha were now in short supply. All these led to a shortage of 2,500 megawatt of electricity. “As a result, there was no option but to enforce load shedding,” she explained.

Referring to the DMK’s criticism on power front, Ms. Jayalalithaa said people suspected that the existing power shortage was not a natural one but a result of the “conspiracy” of the Central government on the “indirect persuasion” of the DMK. She called upon voters of the constituency to teach a “fitting lesson” to those who indulged in “anti-people activity.”

Giving an account of measures taken by her government in the constituency in the two and a half years, Ms. Jayalalithaa said that different development schemes, costing Rs. 58.5 crore, had been completed and various works, costing Rs. 39.83 crore, were under implementation this year.

As for housing projects for the rural poor, 3,662 houses were constructed at a cost of Rs. 58.58 crore.

 Acknowledging that many more works remained to be done, she received representations in this regard. The Chief Minister said her government would meet all the requirements of the people of Yercaud.

Ms. Jayalalithaa, who travelled about 70 km to cover nine areas in the constituency, including Vazhapadi and Neermuzhukikuttai, wrapped up her speech everywhere by exhorting the people to ensure that the DMK lost deposit.  

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