TAMIL NADU

CM inaccessible, says Karunanidhi

The DMK president, M. Karunanidhi, on the last leg of his campaign. -- Photo: K. Gajendran

The DMK president, M. Karunanidhi, on the last leg of his campaign. -- Photo: K. Gajendran  

By R.K. Radhakrishnan

and A. Subramani

CHENNAI MAY 29 . The DMK president, M. Karunanidhi, today accused the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, of being inaccessible to the people. Since the only way to reach her was through the ballot, people should make their displeasure clear over the "hefty increase" in taxes and service charges by voting overwhelmingly against her, he said.

Concluding his campaign in Saidapet, Mr. Karunanidhi said people who had grievances were unable to meet the Chief Minister. Ms. Jayalalithaa's personal assistants would not connect their telephone call to her. Anyone desiring to meet her at the Secretariat, should go with a bottle of poison, he said referring to the suicide attempts at Fort St. George. If people voted for his party, it would serve as a check on the AIADMK Government.

He, however, wished Ms. Jayalalithaa well for her remaining term since both had a shared background — of the world of arts and association with the former Chief Minister, M. G. Ramachandran.

Ms.Jayalalithaa's accusations against the Chennai Mayor, M.K.Stalin, gave him an opportunity to explain to the people the development works undertaken by him from 1996 to 2001 and why no development work was taken up after the AIADMK came to power, Mr. Karunanidhi said. Winding up his campaign in Saidapet, the former State CPI(M) secretary, N. Sankariah, asked the people to boycott both DMK and AIADMK since they followed "anti-labour and anti- welfare" policies.

Conceding that the byelection results would not have any bearing on the stability of the State Government, Mr. Sankariah said a CPI(M) victory in Saidapet could prove to be the first step towards a "credible, secular and democratic" alternative to the Dravidian parties.

Earlier, the CITU leader, A. Soundararajan, warned that people were disappointed with the "anti-labour measures" such as ban on strikes, the handling of transport workers' strike and the proposal to impose fresh levy on essential commodities.

The AIADMK wound up its campaign by taking out cycle rallies in Saidapet The police took out a flag-march in Saidapet on the eve of the byelection.

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