TN CM goes for overseas visit; Stalin seeks real motive

TN CM goes for overseas visit; Stalin seeks real motive

DMK President MK Stalin. (PTI Photo)

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami embarked on a three-nation tour on Wednesday to garner investments, even as Opposition Leader M K Stalin sought details on the realisation of MoUs signed during two Global Investors’ Meet (GIM) organised by the AIADMK government in 2015 and 2019.

Palaniswami, the first chief minister to travel abroad on an official visit to seek investments for the state in decades, took pains to explain that his fortnight-long trip was only to hard sell Tamil Nadu as a favourite destination for investors and not for any personal reasons.

The visit has come under criticism especially from the DMK, which sought to know why the chief minister was travelling eight months after the second edition of GIM was held during which MoUs for projects worth Rs 5.3 lakh crore were signed.

The DMK sees red over the timing of Palaniswami’s visit and also referred to an article in Tamil bi-weekly political magazine, Junior Vikatan, that claimed that the CM’s visit has more to do with personal reasons than garnering investments. In a statement after Palaniswami left for UAE, Stalin sought to know the status of investments promised during the two editions of GIM.

Though O Panneerselvam is the deputy chief minister, Palaniswami hasn’t made any announcement or communicated to the Governor about assigning his portfolios to the latter or any of his ministerial colleagues. The visit is also aimed at strengthening his position within the government and ruling AIADMK, which is jointly headed by him and Panneerselvam.

"This trip is to seek more investments for Tamil Nadu. I am visiting the US, UK and Dubai to meet investors to invite them to start new businesses in the state. I am not going for any personal reasons... I am a farmer and I have to strive for progress, bring in big industries, ensure jobs for youth and economic growth," Palaniswami told reporters at the airport.

The CM will visit the UK in his first leg, the US in the second leg and participate in an international summit in UAE on his way back to Chennai. As Stalin raised suspicion over his visit, Palaniswami sought to turn the table on the Opposition Leader seeking to know why he visited foreign countries quite frequently.

"Mr Stalin frequently goes abroad... why does he go? He says it is for a personal reason. What is the personal reason? What is the mystery behind him going to foreign countries often? He has ever clarified through the media?" he asked.