Time to hold fresh election in State: Chidambaram

Says seeds of various scams are being unearthed now

Updated - April 09, 2017 07:39 am IST

Published - April 08, 2017 11:43 pm IST - CHENNAI

Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram addressing at a public meeting in R.K. Nagar on Saturday.

Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram addressing at a public meeting in R.K. Nagar on Saturday.

Rajya Sabha member and Congress leader P. Chidambaram said on Saturday that the AIADMK government should not continue and elections should be held to instal a new government in Tamil Nadu.

Mr. Chidambaram was addressing a campaign meeting for the DMK’s RK Nagar candidate N. Maruthu Ganesh near the Power House bus stop at Tondiarpet. The meeting, organised by the NorthChennai District Congress Committee, was also addressed by Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy.

“Let elections come. This government will not survive for another four years....We have struggled and crawled for a year. We cannot limp for another four more [years]. We need an election, a new government,” said Mr. Chidambaram.

The former Union Finance and Home Minister said that this by-election was the most important since the 1973 by-election in Dindigul. That Lok Sabha byelection would be the first in a series of victories for the newly-formed AIADMK, eventually changing Tamil Nadu’s politics. “Usually, byelections are not taken seriously as the ruling party has an advantage....Usually, the Opposition party will have internal troubles. Here, the ruling party is in trouble and the Opposition is united,” he said.

Making it clear that he will not speak ill of the dead, Mr. Chidambaram said the seeds of the various cases of corruption and scams were being unearthed now — he mentioned those relating to sand, granite and raids on the former Chief Secretary were sown during the past five year’s of Jayalalithaa’s rule.

He said that the State government now bears never-before levels of debt, at ₹2,72,000 crore. “The government pays ₹25,000 crore towards that debt repayment each year; it was ₹2,500 crore five years back,” he said.

Responding to BJP leader Tarun Vijay’s statement on South Indians, Mr. Chidambaram said, “I am a black Tamizhan and am proud of it. I say that I am an Indian and a Tamizhan with a lot of pride. Who are this “we” he refers to? Are the rest of us not Indians? Are we outsiders?,” Mr. Chidambaram said.

Mr. Narayanasamy said various Tamil Nadu governments had fared poorly in comparison with positions taken by his government. “We made sure the jallikattu protests were peaceful, but the Marina turned into a battlefield. We spoke against demonetisation, but the government here never spoke. We refused permission for the hydrocarbon extraction project at Karaikal, but Tamil Nadu let Neduvasal project go through,” he said.

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