Palaniswami challenges Stalin to a debate on corruption charges

DMK government is the only one in the country to be dismissed on corruption charges, says the Chief Minister

AIADMK co-coordinator and Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Wednesday challenged DMK president M.K. Stalin to an open debate on the corruption charges levelled by the latter.

Addressing an election campaign ‘Vetrinadai Podum Tamizhagam’ (Tamil Nadu marches on successfully) in Anthiyur, Erode, he recalled that Mr. Stalin had submitted a memorandum to Governor Banwarilal Purohit, levelling corruption charges against him and some Ministers. “Where did the corruption take place? I am ready for a debate, at any place, and if he has the courage, he should take part in it, without any notes,” he said.

According to him, the DMK government was the only one in the country to be dismissed on corruption charges [1976]. “They [the DMK] committed a rice scam, the Veeranam scam and a pesticide scam,” he said. He said the 2G spectrum scam [accused acquitted] had rocked the entire world, and “the scam kings” were now criticising the AIADMK government.

Earlier, he raised doubts if senior DMK leaders against whom cases were pending would be able to contest in the Assembly election as the Madras High Court had called for expediting trial in criminal cases involving elected representatives.

At Bhavani, Mr. Palaniswami alleged that Mr. Stalin was holding ‘makkal gram sabhas’ only to blame the government and deceive the people.

Recalling similar meetings prior to the last Lok Sabha polls, when Mr. Stalin collected petitions from the people, he wondered to whom he had submitted them, or what steps he had taken to resolve the grievances.

At Punjai Puliyampatti, Mr. Palaniswami said the DMK president had “chased away” his elder brother M.K. Alagiri [expelled during former Chief Minister Karunanidhi’s time] to promote his son Udhayanidhi as his successor. He wondered how Mr. Stalin could do good to the people when he could not accept his brother. “First let him save his party from splitting,” the Chief Minister said, accusing the DMK leader of trying to capture power through shortcuts.

Asking whether the DMK’s 2006 electoral promise of giving two acres of land to the landless had been fulfilled, he alleged that party men were grabbing land. Contending that AIADMK founder M.G. Ramachandran and his successor Jayalalithaa lived for the people, he said the AIADMK government had taken action against anyone who had committed an offence. In the case of DMK, the leaders themselves had committed mistakes, he said.

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