Chennai, Dec 30 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today said there was not even an iota of truth in Leader of the Opposition and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa's charge that the Government was acting contrary to its announcement on implementing the free colour television scheme for the poor.
Joining issue with the AIADMK leader, he said in a statement here that Ms Jayalalithaa was levelling such allegations as she could not digest the growing support for the Government through implementation of the scheme, one of the populist poll promises that catapulted the DMK to power in the 2006 Assembly polls.
She had become so frustrated that she went to the extent of demanding scrapping of the scheme, he added.
Mr Karunanidhi said that only if the Government had failed to implement the scheme as promised, one could say that the Government had contradicted its own statement. ''We are implementing the scheme as promised. It is Ms Jayalalithaa who is contradicting her own statement.'' About sanctioning funds for the project, he said the balance of the total earmarked funds was with the Government only.
''Nobody can take even a single pie as the Government is answerable for each and every Rupee spent. Moreover, the Government's expenses are being monitored by the Comptroller and Auditor General. If there is any mistake, it will find a mention in the CAG report which will be tabled in the Assembly'', he said.
Mr Karunanidhi recalled the CAG report indicting the previous AIADMK Government for its wasteful expenditure and said Ms Jayalalithaa would not have forgotten it.
Referring to her charge that the Government had sanctioned Rs 750 crore for the second phase of the scheme and had spent only Rs 685 crore, the Chief Minister said initial estimates put the figure at Rs 750 crore. ''But after receiving tenders and finalising the rates per TV set, the amount came to Rs 685 crore and the balance of Rs 65 crore was with the Government treasury.'' As the rates for the third phase further dipped, the Government had decided to procure additional 4.25 lakh TV sets for the balance Rs 65 crore and placed orders for procuring 34.25 lakh TV sets.