Hitting out at arch-rival DMK, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami Wednesday said the main opposition party's village outreach programme was a mere gimmick with an eye on the Lok Sabha polls. Palaniswami, who is also the ruling AIADMK co-coordinator, alleged DMK leaders neither visited the people in villages when they were in power nor when in opposition since 2011. DMK president M K Stalin has launched on Jan 9 his party's village level outreach programme across Tamil Nadu with the slogan "let us meet the people, tell them and win over their hearts."
"He (Stalin) was a Local Administration Minister (during the DMK regime in 2006-11) and at that time how many villages and people did he visit and implement programmes for them..? Nothing was done," Palaniswami said. Unlike the DMK, the AIADMK had always been in contact with residents of villages and listening to their grievances and addressing them, he said.
"This (village outreach programme) is a fake advertisement. Now the Lok Sabha poll is around the corner and with an eye on it, they are enacting a drama called gram saba meet aimed at deceiving the people," he said. Earlier, Palaniswami inaugurated a 'manimandapam,' (memorial) for late Chief Ministers and AIADMK stalwarts M G Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa here built by the city corporation and unveiled their life-size bronze statues.
Without naming any party, the Chief Minister also said opposition parties were deliberately propagating a "lie" and such fake and wrong propaganda will be exposed with the support of the people. Palaniswami's remark is seen as an apparent reference to the Kodanad estate theft row over which the DMK has sought his resignation and a probe by a Special Investigation Team.
On January 11, a former magazine editor Samuel Mathew had released a video clip in Delhi, alleging that Palaniswami had links to a break-in at Kodanad estate bungalow (it was used by late Jayalalithaa as her camp office) in 2017. Following this, DMK had demanded the resignation of Chief Minister. Palaniswami had refuted the allegations saying those who were unable to take on AIADMK politically were resorting to such cheap acts and asserted that a probe would expose their identity.
(With inputs from agencies.)