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Is this LS polls or local election, Annamalai asks, commenting on DMK, AIADMK campaigns

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Chennai, Mar 29 (PTI) BJP Tamil Nadu unit chief K Annamalai on Friday said the election campaign of the ruling DMK appeared to be one for state-level polls and that of the main opposition AIADMK looked like an election for civil polls.

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The BJP leader blamed the DMK regime for the state's "huge borrowings" and appealed to the people to vote for NDA candidates for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to return to power, to ensure continuous growth.

In his poll campaign from an open vehicle, Annamalai said that under PM Modi, the BJP regime has taken the nation's economy to the fifth spot from the 11th position and that India would soon be the third largest economy in the world.

Only when the economy grows, people will have income in their hands, he said, and to ensure the nation's growth, Modi should be the Prime Minister.

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While the Centre is implementing a string of welfare schemes, including the Mudra initiative, he said, the DMK regime has increased taxes, including property taxes and also hiked electricity tariff. Rs 2 lakh crore is the disbursal to Tamil Nadu under the Centre's Mudra scheme, he said in his campaign at the industrial hub of Sriperumbudur near here.

During its 33-month tenure, the ruling DMK has only "committed mistakes" and has done nothing right, the BJP leader alleged. "They have borrowed about Rs 3.5 lakh crore and have taken Tamil Nadu's borrowing to Rs 8.5 lakh crore; they have made Tamil Nadu into a state that has taken the maximum loans in the country." Referring to the campaign of the two major Dravidian parties, he said: "I am seeing the campaign of the DMK and AIADMK. The DMK is going on with its campaign as if this is a state (assembly) election. If you look at the AIADMK, they are campaigning as if this is a councillors' election (civic polls). Both of them have forgotten that this is Lok Sabha polls, general election." The general election is all about who should be the prime minister, he suggested, and plans for a roadmap to ensure growth. "People should realise this," he said. The DMK, he said, is still speaking about debates of the 1980 such as "Sanskrit and Hindi". The AIADMK people go from town-to-town and seek votes as though this is an election to pick councillors for local bodies.

"Ask AIADMK about their purpose for fighting polls, they say they will urge the government at the Centre (to implement schemes)." However, the NDA is fighting polls to run the government for nation's growth. NDA constituent Tamil Maanila Congress (Moopanar) party's candidate V N Venugopal is in the fray in Sriperumbur. It is only the NDA that is fighting polls for the sake of the people," he claimed.

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DMK President and Chief Minister M K Stalin has spoken in detail about the schemes and achievements of his government in his campaign. Similarly, AIADMK chief Edappadi K Palaniswami has listed out achievements and initiatives during his party-led regime.

Annamalai also detailed the Centre's welfare initiatives and listed beneficiaries in the constituency. "What will happen if people vote for T R Baalu (DMK)," he asked and alleged that the DMK leader's assets in the past five years has increased manifold as per Baalu's own affidavit for the LS polls. Baalu is the ruling DMK candidate in Sriperumbudur.

Seeking votes for the TMC(M) nominee, Annamalai said that in case a candidate other than Venugopal wins the polls, that person will be one among the "about 40 opposition MPs in the Lok Sabha", and Sriperumbudur constituency will not benefit in such a scenario.

"It is sure the BJP under the leadership of Modi is all set to return to power at the Centre with over 400 MPs," he claimed. Venugopal, after his "victory" will be part of the treasury benches and he will address people's issues immediately by taking it up with the Centre, Annamalai further suggested.

"It is the NDA that is going to come to power at the Centre. It is our leader Narendra Modi who is going to become the prime minister once again. A vote for any other political party other than the NDA constituents will not have any use," he insisted. "In Sriperumbudur, a vote for only the bicycle symbol (TMC-M party's symbol) has use for the people, and that alone will ensure growth." PTI VGN ANE

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