Former deputy chief minister and DMK leader MK Stalin and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi shared platform in the temple town of Madurai on Saturday and asked the people of Tamil Nadu to throw out the AIADMK-led government.
It was Rahul’s first outing for Tamil Nadu assembly elections – at a rally in Madurai, 480km south of Chennai -- two days after Congress president and his mother, Sonia Gandhi, shared the stage with Stalin’s father and DMK supremo M Karunanidhi at a rally in Chennai.
Rahul launched an attack questioning everything that was “wrong with Jayalalithaa government” and said the people need a change for a “corruption-free government” that will help the state progress.
“The investors are not coming here because they know they have to give lots of money to do anything here,” Rahul said, adding: “As a result, unemployment has grown by leaps and bounds in Tamil Nadu.”
“This is not a government and a state that was envisaged by the great leaders like Kamaraj, MGR and Karunanidhi,” Rahul said.
“Elect a government that will restore Tamil Nadu to its pristine glory, a government that will be focused on development and accelerate development of the state on all fronts,” Rahul said in his speech made in English, that was translated into Tamil by a senior Congress leader.
DMK treasurer Stalin, senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram, TNCC chief EVKS Elangovan and other DMK leaders were present on the dias in a show of unity of the alliance.
On top of Rahul’s talking point was the ruination brought in by liquor. In the state, liquor shops increased from 1800 to 6800 during the five years of Jayalalithaa’s rule, he said.
“We will bring total prohibition,” Rahul declared even as Stalin watched his every word keenly. He was also seen exchanging pleasantries with the AICC vice president on the stage.
Stalin, who spoke earlier, said: “Nokia came to Tamil Nadu during the previous regime and exited now.”