‘AIADMK will sweep Lok Sabha polls’

The ruling AIADMK will sweep the forthcoming Lok Sabha election, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said here on Sunday, as he inaugurated a cycle rally, which he dubbed the AIADMK’s maiden campaign for the Parliamentary poll.

Alluding to the dams in the State filling up fast due to heavy rain, Mr. Palaniswami contended that “it augurs well for the party to sweep all the 40 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. If we stayed united, tomorrow is ours and all 40 [seats] will be ours.”

His government was following in the footsteps of former Chief Ministers C.N. Annadurai, M.G. Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa in implementing various welfare schemes, he said, and called for unity among the party cadre.

Pointing to the Supreme Court’s judgment on the constitution of the Cauvery Water Management Authority after a long legal battle, he said Karnataka had denied seven TMC of water when Tamil Nadu requested for it two months ago. “When we sought at least five TMC for drinking water purpose, even that was denied [to us]. But with legal backing and the benevolence of nature, a huge quantum of water is rushing into the Mettur dam. The farmers of the delta region are happy now,” he said.

Recalls Jaya’s victory

Mr. Palaniswami recalled that Jayalalithaa had legally won the case to raise the Mullaiperiyar dam’s water level to 142 feet, and that she was felicitated at the very same venue in Madurai where he was speaking.

Over 1,000 party cadre would go on a cycle rally and cover 30 locations across Madurai to highlight the achievements of the party and to understand the needs of the people, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam said.

Mr. Palaniswami devoted much of his speech to criticising Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader T.T.V. Dhinakaran, whom he accused of having joined hands with the Opposition parties and attempting to topple the government.

“Despite the attempts of Mr. Dhinakaran and the Opposition, the party and the government have survived with the support of the people and the party cadres [after Jayalalithaa’s death],” he said.

Mr. Palaniswami sought to know what sacrifices Mr. Dhinakaran had made for the party. Stating that he and other party leaders Ministers, MPs and MLAs had come into the party from humble backgrounds, Mr. Palaniswami said he had gone to jail six times in his 42 years of experience in the party. “How many times has Mr. Dhinakaran gone to jail? How many protests has he participated in?” he asked.

Earlier, the CM, while participating in a function organised by the Nadar Mahajana Sangam in Virudhunagar to celebrate former Chief Minister K. Kamaraj’s birth anniversary, presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to former Assembly Speaker P.H. Pandian.

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