Anbumani Ramadoss challenges Stalin to open debate

‘Mistake’ to align with either DMK or AIADMK , says Dr. Ramadoss

Chennai: Escalating the war of words with DMK Treasurer M.K. Stalin, PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss on Wednesday ridiculed the DMK scion’s title ‘Commander’ as he challenged him to an open debate on development politics.

In yet another letter to Mr. Stalin on Wednesday, Dr. Ramadoss reiterated his earlier criticism of DMK on issues ranging from corruption and prohibition and repeated his party’s stand that PMK would henceforth never align with AIADMK or DMK as it was a ‘mistake’ to have done so earlier. “Though you are addressed as Commander (by supporters) you just hide in the Assembly and make others do the talking. Similarly you have responded to my letter through someone defeated in elections,” he said.

Dr. Ramadoss’ response came to a statement by Joint Secretary of DMK Rules and Regulations Committee and former MP R Thamaraiselvan on Tuesday, who had posed a series of questions to the PMK leader on the promises made to the Vanniyar community, whose interest that party claims to represent, besides raking up a CBI case against him. Dr. Ramadoss said Mr. Stalin had not directly responded to his allegations and ‘hired’ someone else to do the job, even as he denied any wrongdoing in granting permission to a medical college in Indore in Madhya Pradesh.

Recalling a Tamil saying, the Dharmapuri MP told Mr. Stalin that since DMK is involved in corruption, everything seemed corrupt to them. “In the (CBI) charge sheet, there is no mention of me accepting money or meeting someone. The allegation is that officials did not follow procedures regarding granting license for the college. It is a politically motivated case against me and justice will prevail,” he said.

Admitting to DMK’s criticism about his party’s alliance hopping, he also said it was a ‘mistake’ to have extended support to the M. Karunanidhi-led government in 2006 when it had secured just 96 seats where Mr. Stalin went on to become Deputy Chief Minister. DMK had in fact changed alliances 15 times, including with the Congress and BJP, he said.

On Mr. Thamaraiselvan’s poser on what he had achieved as a Minister, Dr. Ramadoss claimed he was instrumental in getting schemes such as the 108 Ambulance services, National Rural Health Mission, bringing down the Infant Mortality Rate and Maternal Mortality Rate, besides others. While he implemented the ban against smoking in public places, he could not act on Prohibition, the PMK’s key plank, since it came under the State List.

“You should have done it. But I however undertook three studies on the impact of liquor consumption and brought out the National Alcohol Policy to serve as a directive to states,” he said in his letter, while challenging Stalin to a debate on development politics. On DMK’s contention that Mr. Karunanidhi was instrumental in getting him a Rajya Sabha seat, he said it was due to an electoral arrangement after DMK allotted his party only six of the seven seats promised for the 2004 Lok Sabha polls.

He had got his Minister post in UPA I due to the number of PMK MPs and “DMK did not get it for me,” he added. On DMK questioning why he went on to become Minister despite his father S Ramadoss’ assurance that his family members would not contest elections, he said it was the ‘people’s will.’

He, however, took a dig at Mr. Stalin, saying that the entire first family of DMK was in some post, including Cabinet ministers.

( Source : PTI )
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