Tamil Nadu Assembly polls | BJP and AIADMK not on same page on Enayam Port project: Stalin

Claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami were not on the same page on the establishment of the Port (at Enayam) in Kanniyakumari district and that they were indulging in acts of deception, DMK president M.K. Stalin said on Saturday that a government under his leadership will never permit the project in the State.

Campaigning in Vedaranyam, Mr. Stalin said that while the Prime Minister had referred to the project as economic panacea for Kanniyakumari district on Friday, the AIADMK government was against it, despite the Centre pushing for its implementation through an official communication. The DMK has taken cognizance of the opposition of Christian community leaders to the project, Mr. Stalin said.

The attacks on Indian fishermen (by the Sri Lankan Navy) had increased over the last seven years with BJP at the helm at the Centre. The Prime Minister was not bothered about the deaths of fishermen and confiscation of boats. Textiles Minister O.S. Manian had made matters worse for the fishermen by encouraging them to go beyond the International Maritime Border Line, Mr. Stalin alleged.

The AIADMK Government had not cared to implement the project envisioned by late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to develop the Nagapattinam Port into an all-weather, deep-water, direct berthing green-field facility, Mr. Stalin said.

Mr. Stalin promised fishermen that their community will be treated as coastal Scheduled Tribes and the DMK will prevail upon the Centre to establish a Fishermen Welfare Commission at the national level for their welfare. The monthly assistance for fisher families during the fishing ban period will be increased to ₹8,000, and the fishers will also be provided with ₹6,000 per month during the rainy months.

The AIADMK government had siphoned off enormous money from the huge allocations made for implementation of kudimaramathu scheme and distribution of flood relief to farmers, he charged.

Taking a dig at AIADMK candidate and Textiles Minister O.S. Manian, the DMK leader said all cases booked against 150 protestors at the behest of the latter in the aftermath of the Gaja cyclone will be withdrawn in May, once the new government was formed.

Also, a case will be registered against Mr. Manian for having resorted to repression by misusing his official position, Mr. Stalin said seeking votes for DMK candidate for Vedaranyam S.K. Vedharathinam, and those of alliance partners Nagai Mali of CPI (M) for Kilvelur, K.Marimuthu of CPI for Thiruthuraipoondi and Aloor Shanavas of VCK for Nagapattinam constituency.

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