He accuses Panneerselvam of corruption, being disloyal
In a direct attack on Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam in his native district of Theni, DMK president M.K. Stalin on Thursday said he was indulging in corruption and the DMK, when voted to power, would initiate legal action against him through the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC).
Speaking at “Ungal Thoguthiyil Stalin” (Stalin in your constituency), the poll outreach programme of the DMK, at Kokilapuram Pass near Uthamapalayam in Theni, he said in 2001, assets owned by Mr. Panneerselvam, as per his declaration, were at ₹17.44 lakh. In about five years, this had touched ₹1.77 crore. Then in the subsequent years, it had crossed several hundreds of crores, he said. “If the DMK is elected to power, I swear the new government under my leadership will take action against him,” he said.
In 2002, the then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had herself critically observed that Mr. Panneerselvam was not up to the mark as a PWD Minister and had expressed concern over his poor administrative qualities, Mr. Stalin said. “I have proof to support this,” he said, adding that Mr. Panneerselvam had projected himself as Bharata [Lord Rama’s brother] in advertisements released in some newspapers. But Shakuni [from the Mahabharata] would be apt for him, Mr. Stalin said.
The AIADMK has given him a lot of respect and positions in the government but Mr. Panneerselvam has not been loyal to the party, he said. “For instance, there are a number of unanswered questions behind the death of Jayalalithaa. As the Chief Minister then, Mr. Panneerselvam is accountable. He cannot escape from the clutches of the law,” Mr. Stalin said.
During his 60-minute speech, Mr. Stalin said the AIADMK coordinator had done nothing for the people in the Bodi Assembly constituency in Theni. Now at the fag end, he was claiming to have visited tribal villages in a jeep. “Do not believe this,” he cautioned the people, adding that Mr. Panneerselvam’s Twitter account had a post from the Gita. “This is all nothing but a gimmick,” Mr. Stalin said, adding that karma would do its role in 100 days.
Though Mr. Panneerselvam has been the Chief Minister thrice and currently is the Deputy Chief Minister, he has done nothing for the State, but has only done things for himself and his family, the DMK president said. His brother is facing criminal charges in a temple priest’s death case. There are many other criminal cases. The DMK, if elected to power, will reopen all of them, said Mr. Stalin. Mr. Panneerselvam has never been loyal to his own party supremo, Jayalalithaa, her friend Sasikala and now even to Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, he said.
The DMK leader said, “I am the son of Kalaignar Karunanidhi… I am confident that I can solve all your problems in 100 days. I promise that I will keep my word. Believe me,” he said.
The DMK will get into action from day one and development programmes will be initiated, he said.
While receiving petitions from the people, Nandini from Uchampatti said her 18-month daughter had a rare cardiac issue. Since she did not have a ration card, she was not eligible for benefits under the Chief Minister’s Health Insurance Scheme. With a poor economic background, she could not get treatment from a private hospital. Hence, she sought Mr. Stalin’s intervention. He said government officials should act on this immediately. This cannot wait for 100 days. If there is no response in the next 24 hours from the officials concerned, the DMK will take the responsibility for the treatment, he assured Ms. Nandini.
The party managers had installed selfie-corners at six locations in the venue, where a huge wall-hanging of Mr. Stalin was put up, and people could click selfies using their phones.
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