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Government will implement all schemes, says Karunanidhi

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FULFILLING A PROMISE: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi launching the Rs.2 a kg rice scheme at Teynampet in Chennai on Saturday. (From left) M.K. Stalin, Local Administration Minister, Dayanidhi Maran, Union Minister of Communications and Information Tec hnology and E.V. Velu, Food Minister are also seen. Photo: R. Ragu
FULFILLING A PROMISE: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi launching the Rs.2 a kg rice scheme at Teynampet in Chennai on Saturday. (From left) M.K. Stalin, Local Administration Minister, Dayanidhi Maran, Union Minister of Communications and Information Tec hnology and E.V. Velu, Food Minister are also seen. Photo: R. Ragu

Special Correspondent

Advises Ministers against ostentation in official functions

CHENNAI: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Saturday said his Government would implement schemes with the help of those who had cooperated with it and the support of new allies.

He was speaking after inaugurating the Rs.2 a kg rice scheme at Teynampet here. Mr. Karunanidhi assured people that all promised schemes would be implemented with the support of well-wishers and allies.

He advised Ministers against ostentation in Government functions. "Before my opinion turns into an order, I hope the officers would correct themselves." Since this was the first function he was participating in, he did not mind accepting the shawl and the memento, even though there was no space in his house or the "Kalaignar karovoolam" at the party headquarters to keep the new mementoes.

Earlier stint

Mr. Karunanidhi recalled that when he was in power between 1996 and 2001, Ministers had established a tradition of not attending receptions hosted by local bodies. This was because each of those bodies would praise the Minister sky-high and then place a list of demands. If, for some reason, the Minister was not able to fulfil any of them, local body officials would think that he did nothing, despite attending the function organised at considerable expenditure.

Therefore, Ministers' visits to any of the local bodies panchayats, Municipalities or Corporations should be businesslike.

They should talk to officials and people's representatives to evolve solutions to people's problems. The Ministers should not become a burden on the local bodies.

"Merely because there were no receptions nothing went wrong in those five years," Mr. Karunanidhi said, adding that schemes in Municipalities and Corporations were carried out without any hindrance.

Underlining the need for effective local level governance, he accused the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Government of not caring enough for local bodies. Only if there was effective local government could services be delivered and development takes place.

Mr. Karunanidhi called for amalgamation of the best of Kamaraj's two-tier system for local government and Rajiv Gandhi's Panchayati Raj system, to evolve local governments that could look after people's needs to the fullest.

Local Administration Minister M.K. Stalin presided. Cooperation Minister Ko.Si. Mani and Food Minister E.V. Velu participated, along with representatives of all the allied parties.

After the token distribution, Mr. Velu and Food department officials distributed rice at Rs. 2 to 1,000 beneficiaries.

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