Airport expansion delay due to court orders: Karunanidhi

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Chennai, Mar 18 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today dismissed as false, reports that the airport expansion project was being delayed to favour some individuals who owned lands in the area.

Answering a set of questions, Mr Karunanidhi while reacting to media reports attributing motives for the delay said there was no truth in the report, which suggested that the Government could not acquire the land and make any headway as the land were owned by some influential people.

Stating that the delay was due to court orders which stayed the land acquisition, the Chief Minister said he always wanted to implement such projects at the earliest, but whatever project the Government launched, opposition came in one form or the other.

To ensure smooth implementation of the airport expansion project, the Government had convened an all-party meeting before deciding on the issue, but some land owners had moved the court and obtained the stay against the acquistion, he said.

Mr Karunanidhi when the Government wanted to launch a power project in north Chennai in 1989-90, industrialist V G Panneerdas and brothers, who owned the land, had refused to give it, but the Government had convinced them and launched the project.

Referring to criticism over the selection of DMK candidates for the Rajya Sabha polls from the minority communities, meting out a raw deal to the Hindu community, the DMK leader said those who criticised the selection should realise that the party had fielded Tiruchi N Siva and Kanimozhi, both hailing from the Hindu community, for the Upper House last time.

On a group of AIADMK advocates trying to attack Advocate N Jothi when he visited the Press Club to address a press conference after he was sacked from the party, Mr Karunanidhi said this was the culture of the party.

The AIADMK men had prevented former Chief Election Commissioner T N Seshan from coming out of the airport and later attacked a five star hotel where he was staying. Similarly, when Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy went to the court, the AIADMK women's wing members staged a protest in the most indecent manner, he recalled.

UNI WS GT HT1850

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