Karunanidhi building bridges with voters, flaunting projects

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Chennai, Oct 27 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK President M Karunanidhi virually launched the campaign for the coming Lok Sabha elections last evening, when he sought a repeat mandate for the Congress-DMK combine to complete the Sethusamudram shipping channel project.

Speaking after inaugurating the grade separator at Kathipara junction in Guindy, the gateway to the city, Mr Karunanidhi said the government needed ''strength and power'' to take up many more developmental projects and appealed to the people to vote for the Congress-DMK combine in the coming elections.

He said if the Congress-DMK combine won the Lok Sabha elections again, not only more bridges but the much awaited Sethusamudram project would also be completed without any hitch.

Stating that bridges play a crucial role in easing traffic congestion and connect roads, Mr Karunanidhi said a number of bridges were built in the state after the Congress led UPA government, of which the DMK is also a key constituent, came to power at the Centre in May 2004.

Hailing Union Minister for Highways and Shipping T R Baalu for ensuring that a number of bridges were built in the state, the Chief Minister said in jest that in future, Mr Baalu should be called ''Paalam (bridge) Baalu''.

Unfortunately, all the projects taken up by Mr Baalu ended up in controversies. The Sethusamudram project was also caught in a row and a case was pending before the Supreme court, he said.

''If you want us to complete all these projects, including the Sethusamudram shipping canal, you should give us the strength, by voting us back to power, considering the good work done by the UPA at the Centre,'' Mr Karunanidhi said.

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