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Jaya takes exception to EC action

Written by: Staff
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Chennai, Mar 28 (UNI) AIADMK General Secretary and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today took strong exception to the Election Commission halting several ongoing government programmes citing the Model Code of Conduct.

Talking to reporters after releasing the party's separate manifestoes for Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Pondicherry, she said the EC had even stopped distribution of relief material in tsunami and flood-affected areas, citing the enforcement of the Model Code of conduct.

Though it was an accepted norm that the state governments could not take new policy decisions once the election dates were announced, the halting of on-going programmes was never heard before, she charged.

Similarly, the EC had also halted the implementation of the Farmers Protection Scheme, announced by her last year and the distribution of free dhotis and sarees, which was an annual exercise, Ms Jayalalithaa said and added the EC had no power to stop the ongoing programmes of the government.

''At the same time, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram has announced new benefits for government employees in Parliament. How is this permitted? We are challenging all this in the High Court,'' she said.

She said the election panel could not stop the programmes ''simply because of the protest voice raised by our political adversaries out of jealousy.'' The poor and needy, who were receiving benefits from various on-going programmes of the government, were deprived of them due to the EC's action, she claimed.

Ms Jayalalithaa said the Democratic People's Alliance (DPA), headed by the AIADMK, was a winning alliance. ''It has the support of the DPA and it will sweep the polls,'' she added.

On the possibility of formation of a coalition Government, she said it would definitely not happen in Tamil Nadu. ''We will form a government with an absolute majority,'' she said.

The AIADMK supremo also dismissed the suggestion that Congress President Sonia Gandhi's resignation on the 'office of profit' issue would have an impact on the outcome of May eight Assembly elections.

''It is totally irrelevant to the Tamil Nadu elections as it is to decide who will rule the state.'' To a question on actor-politician Vijayakanth's crowd-pulling capacity, Ms Jayalalithaa said the AIADMK considered only the DMK as its traditional political enemy. ''This will be the last time that the AIADMK will face its traditional enemy in the elections,'' she said, hinting that the DMK would be routed in the polls.

Stating that it was for the first time in its history that the AIADMK was contesting the highest number of seats, she said the party's candidates had been selected taking into account their seniority, service to the party, their reputation and recognition among the people.

Stating that only 182 people could be accommodated among 11,426 ticket aspirants in Tamil Nadu, she appealed to cadres not to regret if they were not given party ticket. They would be given an opportunity at the appropriate time, she said.

UNI

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