Amidst the ongoing leadership tussle with estranged party senior O Panneerselvam and vigilance raids on former AIADMK Ministers, the party’s interim general secretary K Palaniswami called on Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the national capital on Tuesday and said he didn’t discuss politics.
He had sought the Centre’s intervention for two major projects introduced during his tenure and also sought attention to the alleged deteriorating law and order situation in Tamil Nadu, especially drugs which were available without hindrance for students.
”It was a courtesy call. I urged the Home Minister’s intervention to expedite the Godavari-Cauvery river linking project and ensure water for Tamil Nadu and the Nadanthai Vazhi Cauvery to restore the river on the lines of Ganga,” Palaniswami told reporters, accompanied by former state Ministers S P Velumani and C Ve Shanmugam.
He was told that the river linking project was in the stage of formulating a detailed project report, the former chief minister said and added that he urged the Centre to ensure these two major schemes were put on fast track mode for implementation.
”No, we didn’t discuss politics. It was a courtesy call,” he replied when asked if they had discussed recent political developments in Tamil Nadu during their meeting.
Also, he had no plans to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi now, he said.
He declined to comment on the leadership crisis which has gripped the AIADMK saying the matter was sub judice. ”You should ask him,” Palaniswami shot back when a scribe sought his view on former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam’s proposed tour of the state to unify the party.
Palaniswami, who is also a former Chief Minister said the DMK government’s move to raise property tax manifold and hike the power tariff steeply affected the common man. ”This harsh measure has come at a time when people are recovering from the pandemic and the economy, affected due to COVID-19 for 2 years, is beginning to improve,” he said.
He claimed that the law and order in Tamil Nadu had deteriorated and drugs were available throughout the State rendering the students addicts. ”I had raised this issue several times in the Assembly and took up the issue with Chief Minister M K Stalin but no action was taken. Hence, we had to take it to the notice of the Union Home Minister now,” the AIADMK interim general secretary said.
Taking exception to State Higher Education Minister K Ponmudi’s remark that narcotic substances were smuggled into Tamil Nadu from other states, Palaniswami said it was the duty of the government to maintain law and order and the onus was on it to curb drug peddling.