Tuesday, Aug 19, 2003
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By Our Special Correspondent
The executive elevated Mr. Ponnaiyan to the senior-most position, in the place of Pulavar Pulamai Pithan, who had offered to step down citing ``family situation and personal work burden''.
Mr. Ponnaiyan, who was a Minister in the erstwhile MGR regime, re-entered politics only a couple of years ago after over a decade-long hibernation.
After the AIADMK came back to power, he was given the heavyweight portfolios of Finance and Law.
However, a few months later, he was stripped of Law, and Information Technology as well. His elevation now signals a change of fortune for him.
Sources in the party claimed that Ms. Jayalalithaa enthused functionaries to gear up for the polls as the 39 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu could be the crucial determinant in view of the possibilities of a hung Parliament.
The AIADMK could therefore play a ``key role'' in national politics.
As many as 31 resolutions hailing Ms. Jayalalithaa for various welfare measures initiated by her Government were adopted at the executive.
They profusely lauded Ms. Jayalalithaa for Tamil Nadu ``emerging as model State'' in all fields, the recent rollback of hike in PDS rice price, revival of the free dhoti and saree scheme for the poor, measures to promote scientific Tamil, rainwater harvesting, instituting an award for bravery in the memory of cosmonaut Kalpana Chawla, bringing about a historic turnaround in financial situation, leading the country by example in drought relief and creating a power cut-free State.
The executive urged the Centre to initiate legal proceedings against the Karnataka Government, which was consistently depriving Tamil Nadu of the legitimate share of Cauvery water, and bring about a permanent solution for the impasse, which affected the delta farmers in ``indescribable terms''.
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