Tamil Nadu

Palaniswami dares Stalin for a debate on corruption charges

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami addressing a public meeting at CODISSIA grounds in Coimbatore. S. SIVA SARAVANAn   | Photo Credit: SIVA SARAVANAN S

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Thursday challenged DMK president M.K. Stalin for a one-on-one debate on the alleged corruption in the AIADMK government.

“I will hold a mike, you hold one. Let us debate on the corruption you have been alleging in my government. Let that debate take place in front of the people, who will judge,” Mr. Palaniswami said in Coimbatore, while campaigning for candidates of the alliance.

The DMK had presented a list of corruption charges against the AIADMK to the Governor. One of the allegations in the list was a scam in a project in the Highways Department.

The government had not sanctioned the project, nor allotted money nor floated tenders. But it was in the DMK list, the Chief Minister said and added that the DMK president went about making frivolous, unsubstantiated allegations against the government.

On the other hand, 13 former DMK Ministers, who had been facing cases for the last five years, were seeking one adjournment after another. “The AIADMK’s conscience is clear. Your (DMK) tricks won’t work,” he said.

Further, Mr. Palaniswami said the DMK tried to confuse Muslims and Christians to garner votes. But people should think about which of the two parties had addressed their concerns and delivered on the promises. There had been no communal riots in the State in the last four years of his rule, the Chief Minister said. The DMK was trying to portray the AIADMK as anti-minority only to garner votes.

Speaking in Erode, he said that during the floor test held in the Assembly in 2017, DMK MLAs stood on the benches and unleashed violence. Even the opposition leader M.K. Stalin threw the Assembly rule book. “It is a place where laws are enacted. If they come to power, how will they protect the people?” he asked.

Derogatory remarks

Mr. Palaniswami said that DMK leaders were passing derogatory remarks against women and AIADMK leaders during the campaign. “If they are given power, how can people live peacefully?” he asked, adding that the AIADMK would not allow the DMK to come to power.

In Coonoor, the Chief Minister hit out at what he termed as dynastic politics within the DMK, stating that the descendants of M. Karunanidhi would not allow “anyone from outside the family to grow” within the party.

Mr. Palaniswami said that following the death of Karunanidhi, the post of party president was taken by Mr. Stalin, who then handed over the post of youth wing secretary to his son, Udhayanidhi. Kanimozhi is the secretary of the party’s women’s wing. “Remember that Stalin was youth wing secretary till he was almost 70-years-old,” remarked Mr. Palaniswami.

The AIADMK was a democratic party, he claimed. It was possible for every party cadre to rise through the ranks provided he was willing to serve the people, added Mr. Palaniswami.

Speaking about Nilgiris MP A. Raja’s controversial remarks, the Chief Minister said the DMK party as a whole took pleasure in hurting the sentiments of others. “But we are a party that takes greatest pleasure from the happiness of others,” he said.

Private company

In Namakkal, Mr. Palaniswami alleged that the DMK was a private company and anybody could buy shares in it.

In the DMK, seats were given only for persons with money. Even in the Assembly election, only those with money were given seats and there was no place for hardworking cadre in the DMK, he said.

Mr.Palaniswami said that those who were removed from AIADMK had joined the DMK. Former Minister Senthil Balaji and Mr. Stalin criticised each other in the Assembly, but today they praised each other, he pointed out.

On the criticism levelled by Mr.Stalin against Ministers P.Thangamani, S.P.Velumani and K.C.Veeramani, the Chief Minister said that these ‘Manis’ were like temple bells and their sound would resonate throughout Tamil Nadu.

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Printable version | May 19, 2021 4:19:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/palaniswami-dares-stalin-for-a-debate-on-corruption-charges/article34219268.ece

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