Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Sunday said that a new district with Arani as its headquarters will be created as he campaigned in Arani constituency in Tiruvannamalai district. He said that sitting MLA and AIADMK’s candidate in Arani constituency, Sevoor S. Ramachandran had placed this request.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Palaniswami attacked DMK president M.K. Stalin for labelling him a ‘fake farmer’ by stating that farming is his ‘hereditary occupation’ in Vandavasi. Mr Stalin, he said, spends time inside an ‘air conditioned room’ and has no clue about farming.
Campaigning in Vandavasi Assembly constituency for PMK candidate Murali Shankar, Mr. Palaniswami said that when political parties state that they would waive farm loans as a poll promise, the State Government headed by him had already waived off the loans.
Listing out a number of measures, Mr. Palaniswami said that his government had implemented farm loan waivers benefiting 16.43 lakh farmers, spent ₹1,300 crore under the Kudimaramathu scheme for better water management, desilted over 40,000 lakes, ponds and other water resources regularly falling under PWD ministry and other local bodies, provided relief of ₹2247 crore to farmers affected by drought and other natural disasters and disbursed ₹9,300 crore through the crop insurance scheme to farmers among other schemes.
“Though I have done so much, Mr. Stalin calls me ‘Fake Farmer’. Is there a fake and an original when it comes to a farmer? Mr. Stalin wore pants, shirt and shoes to plough the farmland by putting up a four feet high concrete path. He is the fake farmer. Whereas I would remove my shirt and work in the farm. Farming is my hereditary occupation. You are demeaning the farmers with a purpose. Stalin has lived his life in an AC room, he doesn’t know farming,” he said.
He further said that the State Government would provide land and concrete houses to poor, landless farmers. “The Scheduled Caste families will also receive concrete houses and the post-matric scholarship will be provided for higher education,” he added.
Mr. Palaniswami reiterated his promises that the State Government would give ₹1,500 per month to woman head of every family, six free gas cylinders every year, loan waivers for women in self-help groups and also promised that the State Government would continue to protect the rights of Muslims and increase their Haj travel subsidy from ₹6 crore to ₹10 crore.