Jaya defends moving to old secretariat

Refuting critics that she refused to function from the new Secretariat only because it was built by the previous DMK regime, Jayalalitha said that her decision was based on the sole consideration that working from the new place “will seriously impair our government’s functioning.”

Even as a PIL is before the Madras High Court against her move, Jayalalitha said in a detailed statement that as the new Secretariat-cum-Assembly complex was incomplete in several aspects, people would appreciate that her decision was not based on political animosity.

“With an overwhelming mandate given by the Tamil Nadu people in the just-concluded Assembly elections to the AIADMK and its allies and a solid majority to the AIADMK itself, my topmost priority is to implement all the welfare schemes for the people to which we are committed. Our Adminstration is driven only by that goal from day one,” she said.
Listing the reasons for her decision to work from the old Secretariat complex in some detail, she said the new Secretariat on arterial Anna Salai in the first place, built in a mighty hurry by the DMK regime, was not complete in all aspects, including the installation of the lifts.

Though the earlier AIADMK government had wanted to build a new, more spacious Secretariat-cum-Assembly complex and had even chosen locations for the same, it was DMK’s T R Baalu, who as the then environment minister at the Centre, “scuttled our initiatives because they did not want Jayalalitha to get credit for the project,” she added.
Jayalalitha said she never opposed the construction of a new Secretariat,  On the contrary the DMK got it inaugurated in March 2010 (by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi), even before the civil works were completed.
Everyone knows that more than Rs 3 crores was wasted in putting up a make-shift central dome for the complex, she pointed out. Even the first Assembly session was held there, covering up the unfinished portions with big screens, Jayalalitha noted.

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