Even MK wasn’t sure of Stalin’s leadership: CM

Barely a day after releasing its manifesto, the DMK has made changes to one of its key promises – waiver of crop loans. DMK president MK Stalin on Wednesday announced that all farm loans would be waived if the party backed government was formed at the Centre.
Even MK wasn’t sure of Stalin’s leadership: CM
CM delivers a speech at a party meet; Stalin canvassing for votes; OPS and his son Ravindranath at a temple

Chennai

Originally, the party, in its manifesto, had announced that crop loans of small and marginal farmers would be waived. A statement issued by DMK high command Wednesday morning promised to extend the waiver to all category of farmers. The change, the party said, was made after Stalin received numerous requests to this effect from farmers and alliance parties. The request from farmers has come from his late father M Karunanidhi’s native Tiruvarur, where Stalin began his poll campaign. The DMK president who has been meeting farmers during this gram sabha meetings and earlier namakku naamey tours had also given a commitment to farmers to waive crop loans. In fact, the DMK or rather Stalin was not new to farm loan waiver. Besides free rice and colour tv, waiver of cooperative loans was one of the ambitious promises that put the party on power in 2006. Significantly, the DMK had honoured its promise by waiving around Rs 6,800 crore worth cooperative loans in its previous regime. Inspired by the DMK’s success, the Congress led UPA-I government had also waived nearly Rs 70,000 crore worth farm loans, which ensured the party’s successive regime in 2009.

Addressing the voters in Karunanidhi’s ancestral town Tiruvarur, Stalin urged the voters to teach a lesson to both AIADMK in the State and BJP in the Centre.

“This is the birth place of Kalaignar. Everyone knows how Tiruvarur people showed their affection towards him. In the same manner, I have come here seeking your love and wishes. I am privileged to stand before you on the land where Kalaingar started his journey to protect the Tamil language,” Stalin told the people. He added that he is confident that the Tiruvarur voters, who always made Karunanidhi win by a huge margin, will favour DMK.

“This time, Poondi Kalaivanan is contesting from Tiruvarur assembly segment and CPI candidate Selvaraj has been fielded for Nagapattinam parliamentary constituency. I am sure the people will certainly make them win,” he said.

He also said that the assembly bypolls could bring a regime change in the State as the court’s decision on 11 MLAs disqualified by the Speaker is also expected along with it. Stalin also came down heavily on BJP which aligned with corrupt AIADMK despite several State ministers facing corruption allegations.

The DMK president also said promised to build an organic fertilizer factory and a cooperative sugar mill at Tiruvarur.
DMK bows to ryots, says all farm loans will be waived

In a scathing attack, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami while introducing the party candidate for the Salem Lok Sabha constituency in his home turf on Wednesday, said that even Karunanidhi was not confident of Stalin’s leadership qualities and that was why the Dravidian patriarch when he as alive did not ‘coronate’ his son as the DMK president.

Speaking at a party meeting after introducing KRS Saravanan, the AIADMK candidate for Salem parliamentary constituency, Palaniswami wondered, “When his father himself didn’t have faith in Stalin’s skills, how will people trust him.”

Striking a comparison, the CM said the AIADMK always kept all the promises made to the people whereas the DMK hardly implemented the poll time assurances.

Branding the AIADMK front as a mega alliance, he said the goal of the tie-up was to form a secure, stable and strong government under the leadership of Narendra Modi at the Centre.

Recalling the Balakot airstrikes to drive home his point, the CM declared that the country would be in safe hands only if Modi was given a second term. “BJP is the only party that protects the nation from the enemies. People can be safer if a strong leader like Modi becomes the Prime Minister,” he said.

Terming the Congress as a headless party, Palaniswami criticised the opposition for remaining undecided on the PM candidate.

Only when like-minded parties form an alliance in the State and Centre, Tamil Nadu would get good and people-friendly schemes and could be on the growth trajectory, the CM said.

“The DMK aligned with BJP in the past to be in power, but now calls our alliance as non-secular. DMK is a party without any policies or principles. It never brought any new schemes and failed to resolve Cauvery, Mullaiperiyar and Palar water disputes with neighbouring States, despite being in alliance with the party ruling in the Centre for 12 years,” he said.

Palaniswami also made a slew of promises including linking of Cauvery and Godavari rivers, setting up of defence corridor in Salem to generate employment, beginning the second phase of Metro Rail works in Chennai and Metro Rail for Coimbatore.

PM to address 4 meetings

The CM also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Tamil Nadu and address public campaigns in four places.

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