Chennai, Feb 25: Flaying DMK President M Karunanidhi for 'attributing motives' to her various announcements and schemes, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today (Feb 25, 2006) said he was gripped with election fear.
Speaking at the function to distribute the prestigious 'Kalaimamani award' to 123 artistes for their outstanding contribution to various art forms, she said the announcements and schemes being implemented by her were routine activities carried out in the interest of the people.
But, the DMK President was attempting to 'demean' her efforts by alleging that all her schemes were announced with an eye on ensuing Assembly elections. This only showed his fear of the forthcoming elections, she charged.
Ms Jayalalithaa said she would continue to implement welfare schemes for people unfazed by such criticisms.
She said the 'Kalaimamani' award, which was hitherto given to artistes belonging to literary field, music, drama, dance, film and folk arts, would be extended to television medium from this year.
As the television medium had now emerged as a separate art field with a new dimension, the 'Kalaimamani award' would be given to TV artistes as well, she added.
The Chief Minister also announced that the financial assistance extended by the Government to indigent artistes would be enhanced to Rs 750 from Rs 500. This would benefit 5,150 indigent artistes and incur an additional expenditure of Rs 1.55 crore for the Government.
Following requests that cinematographers should also be given 'Kalaimamani' award, Ms Jayalalithaa said cinematographers and cameramen working in TV medium would also be honoured with the award from this year.
Later, the Chief Minister presented the 'Kalaimamani' award to 123 artistes including film actors Vikram, Surya, Jyothika and Sneha, Vadivelu, Charlie, singers Aruna Sairam, O S Arun, V G Santhosam, dancers Gopika Verma, Radha and Shobhana Ramesh.
She also unveiled the portraits of 20 icons of various art forms, including the late singers M S Subbulakshmi, P Leela, 'Semmangudi' Srinivasa Iyer, film actors Bhanumati, Gemini Ganesan, V K Ramasamay and G Sakunthala.