Tamil Nadu government, AIADMK and dissident leader O Panneerselvam on Friday observed the 69th birth anniversary of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa by planting saplings and disbursing welfare assistance. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami planted a sapling at the Omandurar Government Estate here marking the launch of a drive to plant 69-lakh saplings and a greening project in areas hit by Vardah cyclone last year commemorating Jayalalithaa’s birth anniversary.
The planting drive is being taken up across the state at an estimated cost of Rs 65.86 crore and will be completed before December. “The saplings will be planted and maintained in forest areas, in the premises of schools, colleges, government and private office complexes, road sides and in parks,” an official release here said.
In districts affected by storm, it has been planned to plant 50,000 saplings in private and government lands and 2.2 lakh saplings in reserve forests.
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Besides, 2.62 lakh saplings will be provided to public at subsidised rates and all the initiatives will be implemented at a cost of Rs 13.42 crore.
A photo exhibition on the achievements of the Tamil Nadu government, prominently featuring late Jayalalithaa’s tenure, was unveiled by Finance and Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar.
Meanwhile, AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala, in her letter published in party mouthpiece “Dr Namadhu MGR” today said, “Let us vow to protect the party, and work for the people.”
Lodged in a Bengaluru prison, she said cadres should give welfare assistance, provide community lunches (Annadanam) to the people and carry on by working shoulder to shoulder with the government.
In a veiled attack on Panneerselvam, she said, “When enemies and traitors wanted to defeat the party and the government, Amma’s soul guided us and has put up the AIADMK government in the seat of power.”
Paying floral tributes to Jayalalithaa, Panneerselvam disbursed welfare assistance to the people at Tondiarpet in North Chennai.
He hit out at Sasikala and her family without naming her for trying to take over the party against Amma’s wishes.
“Dharma Yudham will continue (to retrieve the party and government),” he said and reiterated his demand for a judicial inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Jayalalithaa.