‘The common man knows the flood is an act of God’

Ponnaiyan feels AIADMK’s good work, schemes will stand it in good stead

May 10, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 08:05 am IST - CHENNAI:

Former AIADMK minister and Saidapet candidateC. Ponnaiyan.— Photo: V. Ganesan

Former AIADMK minister and Saidapet candidateC. Ponnaiyan.— Photo: V. Ganesan

Senior All India Anna Dravidra Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader and Saidapet constituency candidate C. Ponnaiyan on Monday said the party’s work in improving the overall GDP of the State and implementation of welfare schemes to improve the economic condition of the needy will stand it in good stead in this election. Here, he discusses the key issues in Tamil Nadu elections with Deepa H. Ramakrishnan.

There is an opinion that freebies are unnecessary. But your manifesto has many…

The Chief Minister works on the logic that if certain necessities are provided without cost, the savings from that will be available for other expenses. The free 20 kg rice scheme, for instance, helps keep the State starvation-free.

Similarly, the free laptop scheme has marked the beginning of a revolution. What was considered a rich man’s possession is now available in a poor man’s house. Once they get the hang of it, they will be better qualified and that will pave the way for more job opportunities.

The Opposition alleges that the government was responsible for the floods in Chennai, and that Ms. Jayalalithaa did not meet people after the floods. Many people in Chennai, Kancheepuram, Tiruvallur and Cuddalore are yet to get flood relief. What is the party’s view on this?

The common man knows that it was an act of God. Rainfall usually recorded over a period of three months was received in just one day.

Flood relief was carried out on a war-footing. People were moved to safer places; food, shelter and medicines were provided; and communicable diseases were prevented. Officials have enumerated those who are yet to get relief. But since the election notification came into force, we couldn’t do anything. Immediately after the formation of the government, the Chief Minister will ensure that the relief reaches all.

It is not correct to say she does not meet the public. During the floods, the CM was directing and monitoring flood relief measures 24x7. The actual physical work has to be done by a workforce and that was being overseen by officials and ministers and her. .

Congress leader P. Chidambaram has levelled the charge that the AIADMK is the BJP’s B team in Delhi and the BJP is your B team in Tamil Nadu …

Our party’s policy has been constructive opposition and our support in Parliament has been issue-based. Issues that are beneficial for Tamil Nadu get our support and whichever affects our interests either directly or indirectly, we totally oppose. There is no A or B team in this.

‘Freebies like 20 kg rice and laptop have a sound economic logic’

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