Tamil Nadu CM begins first foreign visit after war of words with Stalin
Opposition leader and DMK President M K Stalin questioned the rationale behind chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s trip since nothing tangible had materialized from the AIADMK government’s two highly-publicised Global Investors Meet.Updated: Aug 28, 2019 21:12 IST
Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) on Wednesday taunted DMK chief M K Stalin as to why he flew abroad frequently and for what purpose after the latter questioned the rationale of the CM’s first ever foreign visit to woo investors.
EPS’ 13-day foreign trip to woo investors will take him to Britain, USA and Dubai.
“What is the secret behind Stalin’s foreign tours? Has he ever disclosed the purpose of his frequent visits abroad?” EPS asked before boarding the flight
“I am a humble farmer. I have no intention other than serving the people. If more investments come to the state, there will be more employment opportunities for our youth,” the chief minister went on to say.
The slugfest between EPS and Stalin began after the DMK chief had questioned the rationale behind the trip since nothing tangible had materialized from the AIADMK government’s two highly-publicised Global Investors Meet (GIM).
“The present exercise, which is bound to be futile, is a waste of tax payers’ money,” Stalin said.
In a statement, the DMK chief also asked why the chief Minister was going abroad to woo investors seven months after hosting the GIM in Chennai. He also pointed out that prior to the GIM a ministerial delegation had also gone on a foreign trip to attract investors.
“Though the government claimed that 304 MoUs were signed at the GIM paving way for a total investment of Rs 3 lakh crore, nothing has come so far. Those announcements have become a mirage and till date the government doesn’t have the confidence to table a white paper on that,” Stalin said.
Stalin also drew attention to a recent media report which claimed that the present trip of the Chief Minister had personal motives. EPS had sent a legal notice to the publication on Monday, seeking Rs 1.25 crore in damages.
“A chief Minister comparing personal visits with official tours is unethical and highly unbecoming. My personal trips abroad with family are transparent and there is nothing hidden.
Further, in the two official tours that I undertook as deputy CM, I have secured financial assistance for the Chennai Metro and the Hogenakkal Combined Drinking Water Project,” Stalin explained.
Meanwhile, to quell speculation about the EPS not handing over the reins to deputy CM O Panneerselvam, dairy development minister KT Rajenthira Bhalaji maintained that in the present era of technological advancement, the chief minister can carry out his duties even from abroad. Bhalaji and industries minister MC Sampath would join EPS in the US.
“It is not necessary for the chief minister to handover charge while proceeding on a foreign tour. He can carry out his responsibilities from wherever he is and technology has facilitated this,” he told the media.
First Published: Aug 28, 2019 21:12 IST