TIRUPUR: Taking a dig at Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s claims on foreign direct investments (FDI) pouring into Tamil Nadu during his US tour, the DMK president, M K Stalin on Thursday said, “if the investments have really materialised as claimed, then the DMK is ready to felicitate the Chief Minister.”
“We will be truly happy if the Rs 2,780 crore worth investments from 16 MoUs’ as announced by Mr. Palaniswami in New York, on top of the investments committed at the two previous Global Investors Meet (GIM) in Chennai really come to add to industrial growth of Tamil Nadu, but are these claims true,” Stalin asked, speaking at a marriage function in the family of senior DMK functionary and former minister, M P Saminathan here. The western region DMK senior’s son Aathavan tied the knot to Srinethra at a big gathering in the Tirupur hosiery hub.
Referring to Palaniswami’s claim in New York, where the latest set of MoUs’ were signed, that of the 304 MoUs’ earlier signed at the GIM-II in Chennai, project implementation have started in 220 of them in the state, Mr. Stalin challenged the Chief Minister to give the full facts and figures. “The claim that works have started is a lie,” charged the Opposition leader.
“Which are these new industries and in which places have they begun to function,” Stalin asked, adding, “I had already demanded placing of a White Paper in the Assembly on the details of these MoUs’ and on their status of their respective project implementation.”
Going by the Chief Minister’s claims, industrial investments into Tamil Nadu in the last three years should have exceeded over Rs five lakh crore from the two GIMs’ put together, Stalin said. “There is no sight of even a fraction of these investments coming in and now on top of that, Mr. Palaniswami says we have got another Rs.2,780 crore,” the DMK leader said, again emphasising, “we will be truly happy if they come.”
Dismissing the AIADMK’s charge that DMK was belittling the government’s efforts to attract more foreign investments into the state as unfounded, Mr. Stalin said the ground reality was just the opposite, more so in the backdrop of one of the most disturbing phase of economic slowdown India has been going through.
To “divert the people’s attention” from the recession, slump in sales and growing unemployment in the country, the ruling AIADMK was building up this counter-narrative of more FDI coming into Tamil Nadu, Stalin observed. He said it was understandable for a Chief Minister to go on foreign tour with officials to seek foreign investments, but when more than ten ministers go abroad, virtually at the same time, it only reinforced the impression of being a ‘Cabinet of Tourists’.
With senior BJP functionary C P Radhakrishnan at the marriage function, Stalin also took the opportunity to rebut criticisms about what the DMK and the Dravidian Movement have done to society. The ‘Self-Respect Marriages’, popularised by Periyar, which was also seen at today’s wedding, was one of the key social reforms that bind the Dravidian Movement and they were legalized after DMK first came to power under Anna in 1967, Stalin pointed out.
“The DMK right from its inception has been one family, and to the critics that we practice family politics, I wish to say that members in the DMK bond as kith and kin of one large family as late Anna and Kalaignar often emphasised,” Stalin added....