The beneficiaries for the Periyar Memorial Samathuvapuram in the state are being identified on economic and other guidelines aimed at promoting social and religious equality, without any political motive, observed M.K. Stalin, Deputy Chief Minister.

Speaking after declaring open the Periyar Memorial Samathvapuram at Chinnankonviduthi village near Karambakudi on Friday, Mr. Stalin traced the origin of the scheme to the third spell of the DMK in power during 1996-2001.

He regretted that the subsequent AIADMK rule ignored the scheme and suspended its implementation.

Mr. Stalin said the DMK regime, on the other hand, did not suspend any of the people-oriented scheme such as free bi-cycle scheme for school pupils, introduced by the AIADMK regime. In fact, the largest number of beneficiaries of the waiver of co-operative farm loans belonged to the AIADMK party.

He explained the strict procedures being followed by the Collectors for the selection of the beneficiaries for the scheme. After re-capturing power in 2006, the Chief Minister also released special funds of Rs. 14.50 crore towards repair and maintenance of 145 samathuvapurams constructed during 1996-2001.

Mr. Stalin declared open new buildings and 813 development works' executed at Rs. 48.32 crore; he also laid the foundation for 4,629 works at an estimate of Rs.114.57 crore and gave away loans, revolving funds, credit and subsidy-based loans to 1,210 self-help groups to the tune of Rs.19.33 crore on the occasion.

A..Suganthi, District Collector, said the new schemes for which foundation-stones were laid today, included two more samathuvapurams; and houses for 1,314 Tsunami-hit families under the Emergency Tsunami Rehabilitation Programme in coastal villages. Pattas were also distributed to beneficiaries of the newly-introduced Kalaignar Housing Scheme.

S.S. Kumar, Project Officer, District Rural Development Agency; C. Muthusamy, district panchayat president, S. Rajasekaran, MLA (CPI), Rama Subburam, MLA (Congress) spoke.