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Chief Minister’s plea not to stall Sethusamudram canal project

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GIFT TO CHIEF MINISTER: Transport Minister K.N. Nehru presenting a silver sceptre to Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi at the foundation laying function for Kalaignar Arivalayam in Tiruchi on Friday.
GIFT TO CHIEF MINISTER: Transport Minister K.N. Nehru presenting a silver sceptre to Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi at the foundation laying function for Kalaignar Arivalayam in Tiruchi on Friday.

Special Correspondent

Current alignment is the only one suitable as per experts

TIRUCHI: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Friday appealed to political parties, including the BJP, not to stall the Sethusamudram project as it was vital for the economic development of Tamil Nadu. He called upon the people to support the project.

The proposed alignment of the canal was the only one found to be suitable by scientists and experts. The project and the alignment of the canal were cleared during the BJP rule.

“How can the BJP oppose the project now when the former Prime Minister, A.B.Vajpayee, and his Ministers have cleared it? Can Mr. Vajpayee, whom I consider a gentleman, deny it? Will the then BJP Ministers deny that they did not approve the alignment?” he asked. Mr. Karunanidhi said he would withdraw from politics if they denied it.

Even the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, in its election manifesto, promised to implement the project if the party was voted to power. The AIADMK manifesto clearly said the shoals in the Adam’s Bridge region would be removed to dredge a shipping canal between Rameswaram and Talaimannar, Mr. Karunanidhi said.

He was speaking at the foundation laying ceremony of Kalaignar Arivalayam and the DMK’s district office complex in the city on Friday.

But now the AIADMK and the BJP were raising a storm claiming it was Ramar Sethu. AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa was trying to create hurdles and had brought in Janata Party chief Subramaniam Swamy to support her.

Mr. Karunanidhi said the Sethusamudram project was one of the long-pending aspirations of Tamils, which was now being turned into a reality by the DMK. Listing out the development and welfare schemes implemented by the DMK regimes in Tamil Nadu, Mr. Karunanidhi said over 43 major schemes were introduced during the party’s rule. “The DMK is a peace-loving party. We have done so much and we should continue to work towards our ideals,” he told party cadres.

Transport Minister and party’s district secretary K. N. Nehru said the DMK acquired about one lakh square feet of land for building the Kalaignar Arivalayam and the district party office. The buildings would be completed within a year.

Union Ministers A. Raja and S. Regupathy, State Ministers Arcot Veerasamy, Durai Murugan, Ponmudi, Tamilarasi and Suba Thangavelan, MPs and MLAs spoke. Speakers came down heavily on Ram Vilas Vedanthi for his remarks against the Chief Minister.

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