CM hints at Sethu Project in AIADMK manifesto

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Pudukkottai, Sep 28 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today challenged AIADMK Supremo J Jayalalithaa to prove that the AIADMK's election manifesto had any mention about 'Rama Sethu' and said he would quit politics, if she was able to prove it.

Inaugurating the fifth phase of the free land distribution scheme here, Mr Karunanidhi said the AIADMK manifesto mentioned that if there was any sand deposit near the Adam's Bridge between Rameswaram and Talaimannar, the party would remove it to see that the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP) was being implemented.

He alleged that now, Ms Jayalalithaa was ''lying'' that the manifesto contained information on the existing of 'Rama Sethu'.

Soon after the formation of UPA Government at the Centre, the Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA) in Tamil Nadu managed to get the 2,000 crore SSCP sanctioned.

He alleged that some ''vested interests'' feared that if the SSCP was implemented, all the credit would go to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and himself (Mr Karunanidhi).

The October one bandh called by the DMK and alliance parties would urge the Centre for speedy implementation of the project.

He clarified that the state government did not have any role in the proposed bandh.

Justifying the bandh, Mr Karunanidhi sought the people's cooperation for the its peaceful conduct.

He rejected Senior BJP leader L K Advani's statement that the ''historic structure''--Rama Sethu-- should not be demolished.

Mr Karunanidhi enquired whether former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee, who sanctioned the project, cleared it without the knowledge of ''Rama Sethu.'' UNI RV LS HT2037

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