Making obvious her ambition for a role in national politics, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader Jayalalithaa on Monday vowed to modernise the defence forces by enhancing their capabilities on a par with those of super powers.
Launching a scathing attack on the UPA government and criticising its economic, diplomatic and defence policies, she said funds for modernisation of defence forces were steadily curtailed over the years. Ms. Jayalalithaa assured voters that the AIADMK would ensure that the armed forces emerged a model to other countries. Kick-starting her election campaign from the Kancheepuram Lok Sabha constituency, she sought votes for party candidate Maragatham Kumaravel and urged the voters to end dynasty rule and corrupt governance. She appealed to the voters to ensure that the AIADMK is part of the next government so that the interests of the State will be protected.
Even as talks on seat-sharing with the two allies – the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist party of India – are yet to conclude, the AIADMK went ahead with the campaign.
Unlike other States, the AIADMK government had allotted adequate funds to modernise the police force and implement various welfare schemes for the personnel and their family members. “The Tamil Nadu police is a model for other States to emulate. The AIADMK will take steps to modernise the defence forces. This will protect the country from the threats posed by external forces,” she said. Ms. Jayalalithaa asked the voters to get rid of the “anti-people” UPA government. “You voted the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam out of power and fulfilled my appeal in 2011. Similarly, I want you to put an end to the corrupt Congress-led rule.”
She alleged that the UPA government provided arms and military training to Sri Lanka and, thus, became responsible for the annihilation of Tamils in the island nation. “Instead of imposing economic sanctions on Sri Lanka and demanding an international probe into war crimes, the Centre continues to act in favour of the Sri Lankan government…this amounts to betrayal of the Tamil people.”
The ensuing Parliament election was not just for a change of government but to put India on the path of growth and protect it from the threats of foreign countries.
Listing a series of corruption charges against the UPA, Ms. Jayalalithaa said the mood of the people in the current scenario was similar to the one that prevailed in 1947.
The AIADMK would take steps to control the escalating prices of essential commodities, get additional powers for States, move the United Nations to punish those responsible for war crimes in Sri Lanka, retrieve black money and find a permanent solution to the fishermen problem.