DMK president and Chief Minister M K Stalin on Saturday demanded that BJP leader and Union Minister Amit Shah release a list of special schemes implemented for Tamil Nadu in the past nine years by the saffron party-led Central government.
Referring to Shah’s visit to the State on June 11 as part of preparations for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, Stalin asked whether the Union Home Minister was ready to spell out the schemes for Tamil Nadu. Shah is set to address a public meeting in Vellore and chair party events here.
“I am asking this question,” Stalin said addressing a meeting of party functionaries here and listing the special initiatives implemented during the UPA dispensation (2004-14) in which the DMK was a constituent.
“Many special schemes were brought to Tamil Nadu during the Congress-led coalition government at the Centre,” he said. The first phase of the Chennai Metro Rail was implemented while 11 per cent of the project spent by the Union government was brought to the State.
As many as 69 important schemes were implemented, Tamil was declared a classical language, the Central Institute of Classical Tamil was set up, highway projects to the tune of Rs 56,664.21 crore were implemented in TN and the Sethusamudram project was launched, Stalin said.
The National Automotive Testing and Research and Development Infrastructure Centre (Project) was set up at Oragadam near Chennai.
A Siddha hospital and a maritime varsity in Chennai, a Central University at Tiruvarur were among the several other projects that the Chief Minister mentioned while pointing out that the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) was repealed.
“The list will go on and on,” Stalin said and wanted Shah to present such a list of special schemes implemented by the BJP-led Centre for Tamil Nadu.
“Does he have the ability to give a list; he should list out the schemes tomorrow…he should get the courage and ability to say that this is what they have done for Tamil Nadu. Will he get (the courage) it? No.”
Citing the AIIMS project announced for the State in 2015 by the Centre, he said the proposal was yet to see the light of day.”Why this project cannot be implemented? This is the question of the people of Tamil Nadu. Shah should answer this question. I am expecting it.” All that BJP gave for the State was the imposition of Hindi and Sanskrit, sidelining of Tamil and ‘NEET atrocity’, he alleged.
The Centre’s three farm laws (repealed later) made farmers suffer, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act was a threat to people belonging to the minority community and State’s rights were usurped, he claimed. “They (Centre) are even denying the funds for the State.
“Referring to the installation of ‘Sengol’ (sceptre) in the new Parliament, he said the ‘history’ was now well-known, apparently taking a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He asked if the BJP would seek votes in the name of Kashi-Tamil Sangamam or for (Modi) quoting the Tamil classic Tirukkural.
Stalin said the BJP was readying to face the LS polls in the State by depending on the AIADMK which has lost every election since the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The AIADMK faced defeat in civic polls even while in power (2016-21) and in the 2021 Assembly election as well, he said.
Citing ‘claims’ that an AIADMK leader may be appointed a ‘Union Minister’, Stalin said it could even be a ploy to make the AIADMK take responsibility for the BJP’s betrayal of TN. The CM underscored that he was not sure whether such claims were true or not.
However, it only reminded him of a tale, the crux of which was, though a person wanted to desert the other, it could not be done in view of circumstances. He said the BJP and AIADMK would be defeated in the ‘people’s court’, the 2024 LS polls.
He outlined several welfare schemes implemented by the State government including fare-free travel for women in State-run buses and free breakfast for school children. People were very happy with the good governance of the DMK regime. “People say that the governance is superb,” he added.
The DMK chief urged those party workers who do not have social media accounts to sign up online immediately to strengthen the party’s campaign. He reiterated his slogan of ‘Nadum Namathey, Narpathum Namathey’, which means “the nation is ours, all the 40 LS constituencies (39 in Tamil Nadu and one in Puducherry) is ours”.
The LS polls next year and the celebration of the year-long (2023-24) birth centenary of former party patriarch M Karunanidhi were very important goals, Stalin further said.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)