MK plea to political parties on Setu Project

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Tiruchirapalli, Sep 29: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK President M Karunanidhi appealed to political parties, especially the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), not to stall the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP) as it was vital for the economic development of the state.

Laying the foundation stone for the 'Kalaignar Arivalayam' and the DMK's district office complex here last night, Mr Karunanidhi also appealed to the people to support the project.

He said the proposed alignment of the canal was the only way found suitable by scientists and experts.

The project and the alignment were cleared during the previous NDA Government led by Prime Minister A B Vajpayee.

''How can the BJP oppose the project now when Former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee and his Ministers cleared it? Can Mr Vajpayee, whom I consider a gentleman, deny it? ''Will the Former BJP Ministers deny approving the alignment?'' Mr Karunanidhi asked even as he said he was ready to quit politics if they denied it.

Even the AIADMK, in its election manifesto, promised to implement the project if the party was voted to power.

The AIADMK had clearly said in the manifesto the shoals in the Adams Bridge would be removed to dredge a shipping canal between Rameswaram and Talaimannar.

''But now, the AIADMK and the BJP are raising a storm claiming it is Ramar Sethu,'' he said.

Mr Karunanidhi charged AIADMK Supremo J Jayalalithaa with trying to create hurdles and bringing in Janata Party President Subramaniam Swamy to support her.

The SSCP was one of the long pending demands of Tamils which was now being turned into a reality by the DMK.

Reading out various development and welfare schemes implemented by the DMK Regime in Tamil Nadu, Mr Karunanidhi said over 43 major schemes were introduced during the party's rule.

''The DMK is a peace-loving party. We have done so much and we should continue to work towards our ideals,'' he added.


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