Tiruchirapalli, May 4: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today called upon the people of Tamil Nadu to elect the DMK-led Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA) for building a 'strong India' and a 'progressive Tamil Nadu' in the future.
Addressing a huge election meeting in support of the DPA at the Uzhavar Sandhai grounds in Tennur here this evening, Dr Singh, clad in a white kurta-pyjama and a light-blue turban, said 'I am here to seek your support to vote DPA to power. I am confident you will support the alliance just as in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections.' He said the DPA under the leadership of Mr karunanidhi was a progressive, secular and development-oriented alliance and a well balanced political dispensation. The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in the Centre and the DPA in Tamil Nadu would ensure the state's development.
Stating that the DPA had a futuristic vision, Dr Singh said it alone could ensure a poverty, illiteracy and disease-free Tamil Nadu.
Praising the Union Ministers from Tamil Nadu, Dr Singh said they had responded to the people's needs and the development of the country as well as the state. Renowned economist P Chidambaram, as Finance Minister had brought tremendous economic development to the country. Thanks to the efforts of T R Baalu, the 150-year-old dream of Tamilians - Sethu Samudram Canal project had materialised. Tamil Nadu was now the envy of other states because 1200 km length of national highways had been converted into four lane tracks.
Dr Singh applauded Communication Minister Dayanidhi Maran for the 'One India' plan's success and who had also converted Tamil Nadu into the country's industrial hub. With the efforts of Health Minister Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, medical support was extended to rural areas.
He also paid rich tributes to the great leadership of the late Rajaji, Kamaraj, C Subramanian and C N Annadurai.
Dr Singh listed schemes implemented by the Centre, which he said extended all possible help to the state, when natural calamities like the tsunami and floods struck Tamil Nadu. The Centre had provided Rs 6000 crore for tsunami relief and offered help to overcome drinking water scarcity in Chennai city through the desalination project.
Dr Singh said under the UPA government's 'Bharat Nirman' programme, all villages in Tamil Nadu would be provided safe drinking water, power, roads and telecom connectivity by the year 2009. He said the UPA would ensure that the requests of Tamil Nadu were fulfilled and it could become leader among states. 'Our vision is to provide more jobs for youth and the state's need to have more industries. Our aim is to bring a new government in Tamil Nadu, not not only in human development but also to make an industrially developed and overall economically developed state'.
'Please strengthen the hands of the DPA, so that we can build a new Tamil Nadu,' he stressed.
This was the Prime Minister's first visit to the state for poll campaign. Earlier, he was given a rousing reception at Tiruchirapalli International Airport, when he arrived at 1626 hrs by special flight from Delhi on a whirlwind campaign tour. He was received at the airport by Union Ministers A Raja, E V K S Elangovan, S Regupathy, City Corporation Mayor Ms Charubala Thondaiman and other officials.
Tight security was arranged in the city for his visit.