Now, Jayalalithaa debunks Modi's Gujarat growth



An angry Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Thursday debunked Gujarat's growth story as a marketing hype following BJP leader Narendra Modi's criticism of her party/government.

Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, Sunday charged the AIADMK and DMK for taking people for granted and not bothering about their welfare.

Addressing an election rally here, about 300 km from Chennai, Jayalalithaa cited various comparative statistics -- social as well as industrial investment -- and said Tamil Nadu is ahead of the western state on all counts.

"Gujarat was focussed on advertising itself whereas her government in Tamil Nadu laid stress on working for the welfare of its people."

Jayalalithaa said Tamil Nadu pipped Gujarat in attracting foreign direct investment during 2012-13 and in software exports.

She said only 11.3 percent of the Tamil Nadu's population was under the poverty line against 16.6 percent in Gujarat.

Jayalalithaa said only 21 children die in 1,000 before attaining one year in Tamil Nadu whereas the figure for Gujarat is 38.

She said if the people give her party the strength to decide on the policies of the central government, then AIADMK will not only secure the rights of the state but also find solutions for the problems faced by it.

Referring to Modi's comments Wednesday in Salem about the state's water problems in which he said linking rivers would be the answer, Jayalalithaa said this scheme was talked about during former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's regime at the centre.

She said her government is already implementing various river-linking projects.

Jayalalithaa asked whether the BJP would promise allocation of Rs.6,500 crore for various river-linking projects in her state, couple of which the Congress-led central government had rejected.

According to her, linking Cauvery with the Mahanadi and the Godavari is important for the inter-state river linking projects. Only then, there will be sufficient water in the Cauvery for Tamil Nadu projects to benefit.

She also asked whether the BJP would guarantee that these three rivers will be linked or at least give an assurance of providing Tamil Nadu's share of Cauvery river water.- IANS