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    DMK pushed TN behind Gujarat, Punjab: Jaya

    Theni (TN): AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa on Monday accused DMK of "plundering" the country's wealth and said Tamil Nadu had been pushed behind Gujarat and Punjab in the development sector during the party's rule in the state. "DMK had already found a place in world records for plundering the nation's wealth (spectrum)... while Gujarat and Punjab had gone ahead in development, Tamil Nadu was lagging behind," she said addressing an election meeting at nearby Andipatti, from where she had won twice - in 2002 and 2006.

    The former chief minister said it was the duty of the people to save the country from "plunderers of state's wealth, sand smugglers and mine looters". She claimed even though she did not contest from Andipatti this time, it was her constituency permanently and she would implement all welfare and development schemes for it.

    Jayalalithaa, contesting the April 13 polls from her ancestral town Srirangam, alleged the DMK did not implement various development schemes and had left many projects unfinished in Andipatti only because it was her constituency. In her campaign meeting at Tuticorin last evening, Jayalalithaa said she would take action to retrieve Katchateevu, an islet ceded by India to Sri Lanka in 1970s.

    She also assured that the welfare of fishermen would be protected if AIADMK front was voted to power and grants would be provided for purchase of boats. Fish processing units would be set up in 13 places and fishermen would get Rs 2,000 during the annual 45-day ban on fishing.

    Pointing that Sri Lankan Tamils were living as "slaves" in their homeland, Jayalalithaa said she would press the Centre for their rehabilitation.