Tamil Nadu

Influence of money on voters on the wane: Minister

Talking politics: Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture Ma Foi K. Pandiarajan taking part in a panel discussion in Chennai on Saturday. B. VELANKANNI RAJ  

Minister for Tamil Official Language and Tamil Culture K. Pandiarajan on Saturday said the influence of money on voters was on the wane.

Though DMK MLA P. T. R. Palanivel Thiagarajan agreed that voters would prefer a good candidate over money, as exemplified by his election from the Madurai Central constituency, he pointed out that his party forfeited its deposit in the R.K. Nagar constituency because it did not distribute money to voters.

“The candidate in my neighbouring constituency lost the election by 30% margin even though he did distribute money,” Mr. Thiagarajan claimed, participating in a debate on ‘Vision for Tamil Nadu: The Next Orbit’ organised by the Chennai International Centre.

Asked whether they would declare that their parties would not distribute money to voters in elections, all Mr. Pandiarajan would say was that he personally would like his party not to give money to voters. “I will also not distribute money,” he said.

Mr. Thiagarajan said that while he also would not give money to voters, he said he was not a senior leader to make an announcement on the issue.

BJP’s stand

Senior BJP leader T. Narayanan, quoting BJP president Amit Shah, who had alleged that Tamil Nadu stood first in corruption, said giving money to voters was a sin and his party would not do it.

While Mr. Thiagarajan alleged that in the AIADMK government, power had been concentrated in the hands of a few and all the institutions in the State had been destroyed, Mr. Pandiarajan alleged that the DMK, under the leadership of M.K. Stalin, represented the distilled version of the Dravidar Kazhagam’s anti-Hindu agenda.

But Mr. Thiagarajan said Mr. Stalin’s old speech was used to traduce him on social media and that after becoming president of the party, he clearly explained his position.

Responding to the allegation that there was a massive delay in implementing the infrastructure projects, Mr. Pandiarajan said though there were delays due to legal and environmental issues, the government made progress in 160 of the 270 infrastructure projects listed in the vision conceived by late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

Mr. Thiagarajan rejected the accusation that the DMK turned against projects, including the hydrocarbon project planned during the DMK regime, saying that his government never signed an MoU, but had only ordered a feasibility study. “We are for taking people along with the projects of the government,” he said.

Mr. Narayanan said contrary to the popular perception, the BJP government had done a lot of good for Tamil Nadu. “The BJP government ensured that jallikattu took place in Tamil Nadu and gave one year time to the State government to implement NEET,” he added.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 7:18:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/influence-of-money-on-voters-on-the-wane-minister/article26421425.ece

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