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Updated: June 15, 2011 01:29 IST

"Manmohan promises to consider plea for more power"

    J. Venkatesan
    P. Sunderarajan
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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on her arrival at Tamil Nadu House in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: S. Subramanium
The Hindu Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on her arrival at Tamil Nadu House in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: S. Subramanium

Jayalalithaa says all-pervasive corruption among reasons for DMK's defeat

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Tuesday said she had sought 1,000 MW power for the State as a temporary allocation from June to May 2012 from the Centre to tide over the power crisis.

Talking to journalists, she said: “Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised me to give his kind consideration on my request.”

On frequent power cuts in Tamil Nadu, she said the power deficit in the State was due to corruption, bad administration and misgovernance in the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board during the DMK regime. She said the TNEB imported a low calorific value coal from Indonesia at an exorbitant cost. She pointed out that during her earlier tenure, from 2001 to 2006, Tamil Nadu was a power-surplus State.

Sethusamudram project

Asked to spell out her stand on the Sethusamudram project, Ms. Jayalalithaa said her party had never supported it and would not want the project to be completed.

On Kerala's stand for construction of a new Mullaperiyar dam, she said that after the Supreme Court order which said the level of the water in the dam could be increased [from 136 ft to 142 ft] and there was no threat to its safety, Kerala's decision for a new dam was illegal and it was aimed at depriving the people of Tamil Nadu of their “rightful share” of waters. “We will fight it legally,” she said.

On her decision to function from Fort St. George instead of the new Secretariat built by her predecessor M. Karunanidhi, she said the project cost went up from Rs.200 crore to Rs.1,200 crore.

“Despite this, the building has still not been completed. Only the Chief Minister's office and seven departments will be housed at the new building. Other departments would continue to function from the old one. No sensible and responsible government would think of constructing only for the Chief Minister's office and some departments. Can a responsible, efficient government function in this way? So, I have ordered all the departments to be shifted to the old building,” Ms. Jayalalithaa said.

Asked for the reasons for the defeat of the DMK in the polls, she said besides the extravagant style of functioning, “there was all-pervasive corruption, nepotism, lack of governance and dominance of one family in every business.”.

‘Silent revolution'

She said that people of Tamil Nadu felt they were living during the regime of Hitler or Uganda's Idi Amin and were “waiting for the right opportunity to punish them and did it through a silent revolution when they got the opportunity. This is why all your [media] exit polls went wrong.”

On her government's decision to nationalise cable TV operations in the State, she said “we will be doing it very soon.”

In a memorandum, the State wanted the Centre to suspend the Thoothukudi-Colombo ferry service saying her government was not consulted on the move. It said the ferry service which remained suspended from 1983 had been resumed at a most inopportune time.

It said: “The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly has recently passed a resolution urging the Government of India to initiate action by working with other nations for the imposition of an economic embargo on the Government of Sri Lanka, until the Tamils who are now living in camps are resettled in their own place and allowed to live with dignity and with equal constitutional rights on a par with the Sinhalese. This resolution has been well received by all sections of the people of Tamil Nadu. Hence, resumption of the ferry service between Thoothukudi and Colombo at this stage will not be advisable and it will be against the sentiments of the people.”

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