Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa Tuesday said the forthcoming general election will give Indians their second independence.
"It is not an ordinary election that would result in change of government. It is one that would give Indians freedom from corrupt rule, threat from neighbouring nations and other ills," Jayalalithaa said.
Addressing a huge public rally at the AM Jain College ground in support of her party's candidate from the Sriperumbudur constituency KN Ramachandran, she launched a blistering attack on the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre. She started her party's election campaign Monday from Kanchipuram, about 70 km from here and urged people to oust the corrupt central government.
The Sriperumbudur seat is represented by DMK's senior leader T.R. Baalu who is reportedly seeking a change of constituency. It was in Sriperumbudur that former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated May 21, 1991.
Listing price rise, rupee devaluation, unemployment and stagnation in agriculture as the faults of the central government, Jayalalithaa said corruption levels had touched new heights under the present regime.
Referring to the 2010 Commonwealth Games scam, the chief minister said the Congress government had played dirty even in sports.
On a day (Tuesday) when the Sri Lankan Navy arrested 32 Indian fishermen hailing from Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa said: "The predominant problem before the state is the Sri Lankan attacks on fishermen." "If this has to change, a strong government at the centre should be there. That will be possible only when you vote for the AIADMK so all its candidates win in the polls," Jayalalithaa added.
She said for the past 10 years, people have been suffering from price rise, inflation and rupee devaluation due to the wrong economic policies followed by the centre. The AIADMK leader added that the price of oil should be determined based on the refining cost, not international prices.
Jayalalithaa said the oil pricing policy would be changed when the new government, of which the AIADMK would be a part, comes into power at the centre. "Oil prices would remain stable throughout the year," she promised.
Referring to foreign investment made through Mauritius, Jayalalithaa said the central government had postponed the implementation of tax avoidance measures to 2015 owing to foreign pressures.
Jayalalithaa charged the centre with betraying Tamil Nadu's interests by not setting up the Cauvery Management Board to oversee sharing of Cauvery river water, by its failure to protect the state's fishermen from the Sri Lankan Navy, by supporting the ruling regime in the island nation instead of imposing economic sanctions for actions against the Tamils there, by not taking action to retrieve Katchatheevu, low allocation of kerosene, non-supply of power from the central pool and other issues. "It is not enough to have a people's government at the centre. It should be a government of Tamil Nadu, a government in which the AIADMK is a part. Only then the rights of Tamils would be established." She said the Congress-led government also did not spare the defence sector from corruption. "The Congress government has made the defence forces defenceless," she said.
For the past 60 years, heads of armed forces have been writing to the prime minister to take steps to modernise the forces. However, no prime minister found time to reply to those letters. Jayalalithaa said the Indian Navy does not have sufficient submarines, ships, the air force lacks fighter aircraft and the army lacks equipment and personnel.