Lashing out at DMK president M. Karunanidhi for flaunting prohibition at the top of his poll promises at her mega campaign rally in Island Grounds on Saturday, Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa said said he lacked locus standi to make such claims as it was he, as the chief minister in 1971, who had ended prohibition in Tamil Nadu.
“Congress leader Rajaji had gone to Karunanidhi’s house, braving heavy rain, to plead with him not go ahead with his decision to lift prohibition. But Karunanidhi justified his decision and encouraged the sale of liquor on various occasions”, Jayalalithaa said.
She spoke seated behind a table fitted with mike placed on the dais while her 21 candidates for the Chennai, Kancheepuram and Thiruvellore districts sat in two rows at a level just below.
Ms Jayalalithaa’s comments and the promise on prohibition came in the wake of repeated demands from opposition parties and social organisations for total prohibition in the state. All the parties have pledged to close down tasmac shops if voted to power-there are 6,876 shops across the state, selling liquor worth about Rs 19,000 crore in a year and employing 28000 workers.
Quoting Mr Karunanidhi’s speeches, inside and outside Tamil Nadu Assembly, against prohibition, the AIADMK supremo asked people to ponder over his “sudden turn around” to promise ban on liquor now. The DMK chief was also now saying that the people should not believe the AIADMK even if its manifesto promises prohibition.
“This is Karunanidhi’s way of misleading the people. Why should he say this? He encouraged drinking and more than one generation have grown with alcohol,” she said, quoting statistics to claim that the sale of liquor increased when the DMK was in power during 2006-2011.
Ms Jayalalithaa’s 45-minute speech focused on the “excellent work” done by the AIADMK government, especially in Chennai city and its suburbs “after the people rejected family rule” and voted for her party.
“Gone are the days when the state witnessed 15-hour power cut. We have ushered in a new era of power surplus state…the government led by me has implemented numerous welfare measures to uplift the downtrodden,” she said.
Introducing her 21 candidates to the public, she asked the people for a renewed mandate to deliver even more.She also referred to a survey done by the Union government that found Chennai to be the safest city for women in the