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Salem railway division inaugurated

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AGAINST ODDS: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi inaugurating the Salem Railway Division in Salem on Thursday. Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss are in the picture.
AGAINST ODDS: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi inaugurating the Salem Railway Division in Salem on Thursday. Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss are in the picture.

R. Ilangovan

Karunanidhi gives credit to amicable relationship between State and Centre

SALEM: The Salem railway division, the five-decade-old dream of the people of Tamil Nadu, has become a reality. Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi inaugurated it in the presence of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad here on Thursday.

Mr. Karunanidhi pointed out that the formation of the new division, fourth in Tamil Nadu, was made possible with the State having an amicable relationship with the Centre. Drawing attention to the agitations and struggles for and against the division, the Chief Minister said that fighting for the rights should not degenerate into a confrontationist attitude, which would affect the very fabric of national integrity. Like the rail lines that ran parallel, the State and the Centre should function in a coordinated manner to ensure good governance.

Synchronisation between the rail engine and coaches alone would ensure a safe and pleasant journey. Similarly, allies in a coalition had to synchronise their activities and thoughts. Many nurtured the fond hope of derailing it (alliance), he said. If our journey continued safely, it would not only defeat the sinister wishes but also bring in overall development to the State, he said.

Maintaining that he alone should not be given credit for the formation of the new division, Mr. Karunanidhi said all the alliance leaders, Ministers, MPs, MLAs, Mr. Lalu Prasad and Pattali Makkal Katchi leader S. Ramadoss were responsible, he said.

The brothers of Tamil Nadu and Kerala had sorted out the issue over the Salem division, said Mr. Lalu Prasad, presiding over the function. He said that he would sanction projects for Kerala too.

Sounding a warning against fascist forces that are rearing their heads once again, Mr. Lalu Prasad asked the people and alliance leaders to remain united to save the country from them.

Many had ridiculed him when he took over the Railways, which was in a bad shape then. Now it had posted huge profits.

Chennai would be brought under the freight corridor soon, he said.

Minister of State for Railways R. Velu urged the Chief Minister to allot 50 acres for the new division and share at least 50 per cent of cost for converting the 273-km Villupuram-Dindigul broad gauge into a double line.

Dr. Ramadoss, G. K. Mani (PMK), K. M. Kader Mohideen (IUML), Thol. Tirumavalavan (VCK), D. Pandian (CPI), N. Varadarajan (CPI-M), Union Ministers Anbumani Ramadoss, E. V. K. S. Elangovan and Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan and State Ministers Veerapandi S. Arumugam, Durai Murugan and Arcot N. Veeraswamy and Salem MP K. V. Thangkabalu spoke.

General Manager, Southern Railway, Rakesh Chopra, presented mementoes.

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