People had filled the ground two hours before Jayalalithaa could land at her campaign ground.

In sizzling Dharmapuri heat voters gather to hear Amma who brought them drinking water
news Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 14:16

Thousands of people thronged Jayalalithaa’s campaign venue on Wednesday afternoon at Dharmapuri despite the sizzling hot 40-degree temperature, to watch the chief minister deliver her half-an-hour long election speech.

Sporting "Amma caps” made from tissue cloth, truckloads of Amma supporters from the various taluks of Hosur, Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri had filled the ground by noon, two hours before Jayalalithaa could land at her campaign ground on Wednesday. Many were here to show their support for the person who had brought water to their parched villages.

Time and again, people walked in and out of the ground to splash their faces with hot water from the pouches left on the periphery of the campaign ground. And when that wasn’t enough, they headed to the ice cream cart. Some recalled the two men who died of heat stroke at Jayalalithaa's campaign at Vriddhachalam on Monday. 

“We started at around 9:30 am and the trucks were all arranged by the MLAs in the district. They have arranged for our food, water and transport, what more do we need?” said Senkodi, who had come along with 150 other fellow villagers from Soolagiri, about 80 km from the campaign grounds.

Pointing at the working model of the Hogenakkal water project on the grounds, Chandramohan from Krishnagiri district, which is one of the most water-parched districts in Tamil Nadu said, “This drinking water project has soothed the water problems in the district and it wouldn’t have been possible without Amma.”

Among the women supporters gathered, there was a feeling that more can be done for them. “She has always focused on empowering women and there is more to be done. She has made sure to help women as and when there has been a necessity. Not only do women need support with education, but they must also be employed, said Thangam from Semmandakuppam village.

Addressing the people gathered, Jayalalithaa acknowledged the persisting water problems despite her Hoganekkal drinking water project. She also took the chance to take a dig at DMK saying they tried to put the project on hold in 2008. She assured the audience that she has more plans to ease the water issue in these dry districts.

Jayalalithaa also spoke about the welfare schemes that her government implemented such as farm fresh outlets for vegetables, Amma salt, Amma canteens and Amma drinking water schemes. She also pointed to the green houses scheme, the Rs 1000 old-age pension which were part of the AIADMK's poll promises in 2011.

She assured the people that the public sector gas supplier GAIL would not lay pipelines over farmlands for its natural gas project.

"I would like to assure you that by continuing to urge the central government, I will take steps to ensure that GAIL does not lay pipelines over farmlands for its project," she said.


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