State has enough funds for CTV scheme, flood relief: CM

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Chennai, Jan 1 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK President M Karunanidhi today had an indirect dig at his bete noire and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa, stating that the government had enough funds available for flood relief and the free colour TV scheme.

Inaugurating the free dhoti and saree scheme for poor people for the ensuing Pongal festival here, he said some 'new' political leaders were questioning the rationale behind the free schemes launched by the government.

''I am not concerned about them,'' he added.

In an apparent reference to the remarks by Ms Jayalalithaa, he said some of the leaders were advising the government to use the funds earmarked for CTV scheme for flood relief.

The government could use the money earmarked for the CTV scheme for flood relief if there was no funds for flood relief.

''But that was not the case. The government has enough funds for undertaking flood relief works and free CTV schemes,'' he said and asked the politicians not to shed ''crocodile tears'' for the people.

''The government is committed to the welfare of the people,'' he said.

Indirectly referring to Ms Jayalalithaa'a opposition to the freebies announced by the government, Mr Karunanidhi appealed to the people to reject those politicians who were against freebies.

Stating that the free dhoti and saree scheme would benefit both the poor and handloom weavers, Mr Karunanidhi recalled that when the handloom industry faced distress, he and several DMK leaders, including Finance Minister Anbazhagan undertook door-to-door marketing of handloom goods.

The Chief Minister said in all, 3.30 crore dhoties and sarees would be distributed to the poor in the state and the government had earmarked Rs 250 crore for this purpose.

Ministers, officials and local body representatives would distribute dhoties and sarees to the people before January 10, he added.

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