Kancheepuram: All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) chief and Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa today kickstarted the party's Lok Sabha campaign from the silk district of Kancheepuram, around 80 km from Chennai.
In her 40-minute address, Jayalalithaa said: “Before Independence people wanted to throw the British out from the country. After 67 years, people now want to throw out the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.”
Projected by her followers as the Prime Ministerial candidate, she took to the stage, which was a replica of Parliament, and came down heavily on the Centre’s wrong policies, including economic, defence procurement among others.
“We need a change at the Centre and the power and strength should be with us for a change,” said Jayalalithaa, who promised if the AIADMK came to power in the Centre, it would take India on the path of growth with peace, progress and prosperity, which is the party’s theme for the Lok Sabha election.
She went on to say that in 2011, the family rule was thrown out in the state and it was time now to do the same in New Delhi.
“It is time to end the family rule in the Centre and bring the people’s rule”, said Jayalalithaa, while listing examples of wrong economic policies like pricing of oil that had resulted in spiraling of prices of essential goods, continued reduction in the allocation for modernisation of Armed forces and long delays in acquiring equipment for the defence forces.
Jayalalithaa said apart from canceling the defence contracts when there were allegations of corruption, steps should be taken to recover the loss incurred.
During her speech, she listed out state government's initiative to address inflation, including distributing free rice through PDS, supply of essential products like palm oil, dals at subsidised rates and spending money on education, farmer welfare among others.
On electricity, which has been one of the major issues for the last two years, Jayalalithaa said the state would soon become power surplus. The state government had added 2,500-Mw and steps were taken to procure 3,300-Mw from other states and to add 5,300-Mw. She also held the Centre and the DMK government responsible for the power crisis in the state.
The chief minister also listed the top 10 decisions, which she described as anti-people steps taken by the Congress-led UPA. These include policies related to financial crisis, inflation, currency fluctuations,defence, allowing FDI in retail, not going against Sri Lanka on the Tamil fishermen issue, taking away state’s power and rights among others.
“Everything is corruption and it’s corruption everywhere. This is what the Congress government is,” said Jayalalithaa. She listed some of the scams, including 2G, coal, VVIP helicopter and Commonwealth Games. Jayalalithaa alleged the DMK did not do anything for Tamil Nadu despite being a part of the UPA.
Whereas, according to her, in the last over two-and-a-half years, Tamil Nadu has signed 33 MoUs worth Rs 31,706 crore, which will generate direct and indirect employment to around 200,000 individuals.