Responding to a specific question from reporters on the demand from various political parties to hold the Assembly session, the Chief Minister, who was in Udhagamandalam to inaugurate the two-day annual flower show, refused to elaborate on the details.
Addressing the gathering at the inaugural of the 121st annual Flower Show at the Government Botanical Garden in Udhagamandalam, the CM said, “Though I don’t want to talk politics as it is a non-political event, I am forced to make a reply to a report that has appeared in a newspaper on Friday morning.” He was referring to a report in a Tamil daily which had said that his predecessor and leader of the AIADMK (PTA) O Panneerselvam, was instrumental in the growth of Palaniswamy. “Only former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa made me, what I am now today,” he replied.
The Chief Minister made use of the opportunity to once again reiterate how Jayalalithaa groomed him in the party from the position of a young cadre. Recalling the positions, he held in the party and the opportunities the former Chief Minister gave him to contest as a candidate in the elections, he expressed delight in inaugurating the flower show that was last inaugurated by her in 1995.
“When the government is for the people, God will be on the side of the government,” he said and added that the government has won the support of the people and the grace of God as well. Hitting out at Panneerselvam-led faction, he concluded his speech with a parable on punishment that one will attract for talking about justice but at the same time doing injustice to others. “People will teach them a lesson,” he added.
“The Nilgiris witnessed growth only after Jayalalithaa set her foot here,” he said and recalled the various developmental works sanctioned by her to the tune of more than Rs 125 crore for the betterment of the tourist town. He said the Udhagamandalam bus stand will be provided with the latest amenities and improved at a cost of Rs 2 crore.
Later, the CM told reporters that the government would consider a helicopter ambulance service from Udhagamandalam to help patients reach the plains.
Stating that Rs 8 crore has been sanctioned for carrying out developmental works at the Government Botanical Garden, he added that the works would soon begin.
The CM also distributed financial assistance to the tune of Rs 5.76 crore to 145 women self-help groups. Minister for Municipal Administration and Rural Development SP Velumani and Agriculture Minister R Doraikkannu accompanied him at the event.