Replying to a specific question on the preparedness of AIADMK to contest the bypolls, including to constituencies of the 18 MLAs, Palaniswami told reporters in Coimbatore that the party was ready to face the by-elections any time.
In an apparent reference to sidelined leader TTV Dhinakaran, he said ‘betrayers’ and ‘enemies’ had been given a befitting lesson by the Madras High Court.
Meanwhile, in his inaugural address at the launch, the Chief Minister said, “Due to the constant safety efforts by the state, the accident mortality rate of Tamil Nadu has been reduced to 4.89 per cent from 8.27 per cent in the current fiscal.” The state after identifying 40 major roads had reached out to the Centre seeking conversion of state highways into national highways to decongest roads. At present 12 roads have been cleared for the development and the works are on, he said.
Earlier in the day, Palaniswami reviewed the restoration of water bodies funded under the smart city project and inspected the construction of Ukkadam flyover taken up at a cost of Rs 121 crore. The new 1.34-kilometre flyover will decongest Ukkadam, Town Hall and the roads leading to Pollachi.
Addressing reporters, the Chief Minister said that the dreams of those who tried to break the ruling AIADMK had been shattered following the Madras High Court verdict. “The verdict has given a fitting lesson to traitors,” he said.
When asked why the civic polls and co-operative polls were being postponed, the Chief Minister shot back saying that DMK obtained a stay order delaying the civic polls in 2016. In case of elections to cooperatives union, polls have been completed for more than 90 per cent posts, he added.
Commenting on the political instability in Sri Lanka, Palaniswami alleged that the former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa had killed several innocent Tamils. “AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa always wanted Rajapakse to be punished under war crimes and this Amma government will continue to condemn Rajapaksa for his war crimes,” he added.
Renovated operation wards opened in hosps
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Saturday inaugurated a series of buildings and operation wards constructed at government hospitals across the state at a cost of Rs 14.35 crore. Most of the projects inaugurated through video conferencing were operation wards, neonatal care unit aimed to reduce infant mortality rate and maternity wards located in north Tamil Nadu.
A press release from the secretariat said that the Chief Minister declared open Rs 3.70 crore hospital buildings attached to the Villupuram Government Hospital. Apart from an upgraded outpatient ward, new surgery and scanning wards were also added to the existing hospital, the release said.
Similarly, for Cuddalore and Thiruporur in Kancheepuram district, the Chief Minister inaugurated two renovated hospitals taken up at a cost of Rs 2.35 crore. The new facilities have added 90 new beds to the existing bed strength of government hospitals. Through these new facilities children and women will benefit more pushing the health index of the state, the release said.
Health Minister C Vijaya Baskar, chief secretary Girija Vaidyanathan and health secretary J Radhakrishnan were among those who attended the event at the Secretariat.
70 students get prize for reciting Kural
Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Saturday distributed cash prize for students who had recited 1,330 couplets of Thirukkural.
A press release from the secretariat said that the Chief Minister interacted with 70 students who had successfully recited Thirukkural and distributed cash prize to a tune of Rs 7 lakh.
Under the Thirukkural recitation scheme 70 students had benefitted this year and since 2011, a total of 329 children had benefited from the scheme.
The scheme is a brainchild of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa. For the fiscal 2018-19, the scheme was extended to 70 students, the release said. A prize amount of Rs 10,000 is given to each student under the scheme to encourage them to memorise Thirukkural.