Special Correspondent

Will meet party workers at Sathyamurthy Bhavan whenever he is in Chennai

CHENNAI: The outcome of the elections has demonstrated the decisive role played by the Congress in Tamil Nadu politics, said Union Shipping Minister G.K.Vasan on Sunday.

Arriving to a rousing reception at the Sathyamurthy Bhavan, where hundreds of cadre lined up to meet him, Mr Vasan, however, dodged a question on the prospects of the Congress joining the government in Tamil Nadu. “The opinion and decision of AICC president Sonia Gandhi will be final,” he quipped.

Mr. Vasan said he would work with all senior leaders to strengthen the party and meet the workers at Sathyamurthy Bhavan whenever he was in Chennai.

On Sunday, he was welcomed by TNCC president K.V. Thangkabalu, Congress Legislature party leader D. Sudarssanam, party whip Peter Alphonse and Congress MLAs.

Listing out his priorities, he said steps would be taken to increase the production capacity of the ports in Tamil Nadu through modernisation and dredging operations.

“It is necessary to create roads to link all the ports in the State and I will hold discussions with the officials to achieve the goal,” he said adding that he would see to it that the ports contributed substantially to the development of the country’s economy.

He said the ports in Kanyakumari, Cuddallore, Marakkanam and Ennore would be further improved.

Sethu project

Asked about the Sethusamudram project, he said he would implement the “dream project of the people of Tamil Nadu” based on the Supreme Court judgment and the report of R.K.Pachauri, who is studying the project.

He appealed to the political parties and others not to politicise the issue, saying the project was in the interest of the nation.

On the Sri Lankan Tamils issue, he said the support of the Indian government and the DMK government would remain a solid basis for finding a political solution to the ethnic crisis and securing rights for the Tamils on a par with the Sinhalese.

Mr. Vasan earlier met Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and Deputy Chief Minister M.K Stalin after garlanding the statues of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and former Chief Minister Kamaraj.