Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami today said he does not hanker for the chief minister's post but considered himself as an "in-charge" with overall responsibility to "execute the task" people assign him.
"Earlier I was introduced as the chief minister. But I see everyone of you as chief ministers. The people are the real chief ministers because you gave me this post which I accepted as an in-charge to serve you, to execute the task you assign to me."
"Like others, I don't hanker for the chief minister's chair because as a person coming from a village, I wish to work hard," Mr Palaniswami said amid thunderous applause from party workers who had gathered in large numbers.
He said he came up in life through sheer hard work. "I came up by working hard and thank our leaders (Late chief ministers) MG Ramachandran and J Jayalalithaa for this. What remains everlasting is our achievements."
"This is what both our leaders have left behind through their good deeds," Mr Palaniswami, whom the ruling AIADMK has announced as the chief ministerial candidate for the 2021 polls, said.
He is also the AIADMK's co-coordinator.
Training his guns at DMK chief MK Stalin, the chief minister accused him of spreading misinformation that AIADMK party men are involved in door-to-door distribution of tokens for collecting the Pongal gift of Rs 2,500.
Mr Stalin was spreading false information as he was unable to digest the fact that the Pongal cash gift scheme received overwhelming response from the people, he alleged.
His government had announced a Pongal cash gift of Rs 2,500 and hampers to all rice card holders in the state, as the poor have been affected by the Covid pandemic.
"He is doing so because the AIADMK will earn a good reputation among the people," he said.
Last year, the DMK went to the court seeking to stall the distribution of Rs 1,000 cash to ration card holders as that party disliked doing good things for the people, Mr Palaniswami said, adding, he had announced Rs 2,500 cash as gift to enable those affected by the pandemic celebrate Pongal happily.
Mr Palaniswami, who earlier offered prayers at the Anjaneyar Temple in Namakkal, appealed to the people to cast their votes in favour of the Two Leaves, the AIADMK symbol, in next year's Assembly elections, due in April-May.
He campaigned while sipping tea at a house and interacting with traders and vendors at the temple premises.
Electricity minister P Thangamani, Transport minister MR Vijayabaskar and Social welfare minister Dr V Saroja and MLAs were present.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)