Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami today hit back at the DMK’s barb that the ruling AIADMK was “subservient” to the BJP-led Union government, asking if it was a crime to have cordial ties with the Centre. Taking aim at the DMK, Palaniswami said people knew those who had cordial ties with the Centre “for the sake of office” and criticised it when they failed to get benefits. DMK has repeatedly attacked the ruling AIADMK on a host of issues for “becoming a slave” of the Centre. “Is it a crime to be cordial with the Centre.. is the Central government a foreign government? Why are they often forgetting that India is our nation and we are all Indians,” he said. Addressing the centenary celebrations of former chief minister and AIADMK founder M G Ramachandran here, he recalled that the late leader had cordial ties with former prime ministers Morarji Desai, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, he said. By maintaining cordiality, MGR had got funding for welfare schemes for Tamil Nadu and his government was following it, he said.
Palaniswami listed several schemes, including housing, Japanese industrial township and flights for destinations in Tamil Nadu under the regional connectivity plan, that were gained through ties with the Centre. On September 17 too, the chief minister had said that his government maintained smooth relations with the Centre as only then could the state get much-needed development schemes, new plans and fundings for the same. Referring to Opposition criticism against him for narrating stories at events, Palaniswami said even former chief minister Jayalalithaa had faced flak for it.
“‘Amma’ had said that she will not stop recounting stories notwithstanding criticism, as it was useful for the people,” Palaniswami said. “We follow Amma’s way,” he said, apparently indicating that he too would not stop doing so. Refraining from naming the Dhinakaran camp, which has the backing of 21 MLAs, he said some were trying to “dislodge” his government and talking “arrogantly” and asserted that their machinations would not fructify.
He hit out at Dhinakaran without naming him by telling a tale of a tree and a creeper and indicated that the rival leader would ‘wither away’ like the creeper in the story. Palaniswami announced several new schemes,including seven new check dams in Salem district, a training centre for transport corporation employees, drinking water scheme for Sangagiri Town Panchayat, and a ring road here.