DMK President M K Stalin Thursday said his party always supported Puducherry's demand for full statehood. The late DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi had also been in total support of statehood for Puducherry, he said at a public meeting organised here by the Secular Progressive Alliance.
Stalin was canvassing votes for former Puducherry Assembly Speaker and Congress nominee for the lone Lok Sabha seat in the union territory V Vaithilingam and DMK candidate K Venkatesan for the Thattanchavady Assembly by-poll. "The DMK has always supported Puducherry's full statehood demand. We will never let down Puducherry at any cost," he said.
Stalin alleged that the AINRC had not taken steps to persuade the Centre to grant statehood to Puducherry though its candidate was the MP from the union territory. He recalled that protests had broken out when an attempt was made in 1979 by the then Prime Minister Morarji Desai and then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M G Ramachandran to dismantle the separate status of Puducherry and merge it with the neighbouring state.
Stalin criticised the BJP manifesto released recently by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for "letting down" students, unemployed youth and other sections without any specific schemes. He alleged the promises made by the BJP during the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections had not been fulfilled.
"All the promises and assurances are only on paper and nothing had been done to realise them," he said. The DMK president said the party's manifesto and that of the Congress had very clearly projected the need for statehood for Puducherry.
AICC Secretary Sanjay Dutt and Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy also spoke.
(With inputs from agencies.)