DMK biggies fight to take credit

Shreenesh Raman

SSP rings caution call for Baalu 

Union Minister S S Palanimanickam on Saturday launched a scathing attack on senior party leader and Parliament floor leader T R Baalu, known to be very close to party chief M Karunanidhi and treasurer MK Stalin. Taking exception to Baalu’s ‘unanimous announcement’ of railway projects for Thanjavur, which is Palanimanickam’s constituency, the minister told mediapersons that he would lead an agitation against Baalu’s distillery at Vadasery located in fertile agricultural land and would not hesitate to drag him to Court on the issue. The distillery was opposed by farmers who got justice after approaching the Madras High Court, Palanimanickam said.

In a major embarrassment to Karunanidhi, who has recently accused Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa of stalling the Sethusamudram Canal Project, Palanimanickam said despite the media hype, it ran into legal hurdles due to Baalu’s inefficiency.

Amid reports that Baalu had the party leadership’s approval to contest in Thanjavur constituency in the forthcoming Parliament elections, the minister, who is also the district secretary said, “Baalu is visiting Thanjavur and Tiruvarur more frequently without caring to do anything in his own constituency, Sriperumbudur.” The open tirade against Baalu at a press meet by Palanimanickam, comes a day after Baalu’s announcement of various railway projects for the delta district as the Chairman of the Standing Committee for Railways.

Recalling the meeting held with railway officials on the Pattukottai-Thanjavur railway line, he said the people demanded the Railways to reconsider the proposal and resurvey the line. However, TR Baalu announced the project from Mannargudi recently.

“I congratulate Baalu for taking credit for the project. I appreciate his public stunts with an eye on the Parliament elections,” he said.

“I paved way for three major road projects namely Thanjavur-Perambalur, Thanjavur- Vikravandi and Thanjavur-Pudukottai,” he claimed. Despite holding the Surface Transport portfolio in the Union Cabinet, he did not make efforts to upgrade the Thanjavur-Nagapattinam section of the National Highway, he charged.

He said the diversion of Kamban Express had drawn massive criticism from the people of Thanjavur. People feared that the Mannargudi-Chennai Express would soon follow the same route.

Palanimanicakm said he appealed to Railway Minister C P Joshi to run a new express night train between Thanjavur and Chennai. He said railways would add two coaches to the Rameswaram Express and one with the Tiruchendur Express. as an interim arrangement.

Source: The New Indian Express. Thanjavur


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