Chief Minister V. Vaithilingam has disputed former Chief Minister N. Rangasamy's charge that he was a victim of political jealousy. Addressing a press conference here along with Union Minister V. Narayanasamy, he said it was wrong to say that Mr. Rangasamy's Cabinet colleagues conspired against him as all were jealous of his popularity.

Mr. Vaithilingam, who was holding the Industries portfolio during Mr. Rangasamy's tenure, said the former Chief Minister had under his control all major portfolios such as Public Works Department, Revenue, Civil Supplies and Disaster Management. Mr. Rangasamy could have implemented programmes in these departments without the support of the Ministers, the Chief Minister said, but “he failed in administering.”

Mr. Vaithilingam said that around Rs. 350 crore sanctioned by the Centre for implementing programmes under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission such as providing underground sewerage pipeline, construction of houses, procuring buses, beach beautification project and Sarva Siksha Abhiyan were not taken up owing to lack of efforts.

“For getting additional funds and getting it sanctioned, the Union Territory administration has to adopt a proactive approach. But, as Chief Minister, Mr. Rangasamy failed to do it,” he said.

The former Chief Minister even “failed to speak at the Planning Commission meetings,” he said. The Chief Minister said all these schemes were taken up during “our tenure.”

After the press conference, Mr. Vaithilingam carried out the last round of campaigning in Kamaraj Nagar from where he is contesting. He told The Hindu that in the coming days he would campaign for his party candidates.