Chennai: In a bizarre promise, Tamil Nadu's School Education Minister KA Sengottaiyan said job opportunities would be given only to those referred by the ruling AIADMK's workers. "You do not have to worry. In future, only those who you point will get job opportunities," the minister told party workers at his hometown Gobichettipalayam, 400 km from Chennai, on Sunday last.
"This assurance and this idea have been expressed to the party high command when our chief minister and the deputy chief minister and we were seated," Mr Sengottaiyan said. "This government is forever ready to take you to the peak if the cadre decide to run the party in the best way," he said.
The minister could not be reached for comments. When NDTV contacted his office, one of his team members said, "The minister did say this. He referred to appointment of sweepers and office assistants in ration shops. He had responded to a specific question on this."
Recently, Cooperatives Minister Sellur Raju had told AIADMK workers in Madurai that the state government's welfare schemes would be extended only to those with AIADMK cards.
Calling it "organised loot" by the ruling AIADMK, the opposition DMK has demanded that Chief Minister E Palaniswami step down. "AIADMK clearly has no qualms about this. It shows how brazen they are and to what extent they would stoop. The EPS government has to step down," DMK spokesperson A Saravanan said.
The ruling AIADMK suffered a major setback after its sidelined leader TTV Dhinakaran won the RK Nagar by-polls in December last year. The seat was represented by late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
The party lost the by-polls despite getting to keep the AIADMK's two-leaves symbol after much fighting with TTV Dhinakaran's faction.
The local body elections will also be a major challenge for the ruling party. With actors Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan entering politics, analysts say the AIADMK leadership is doing all they can to motivate party workers.
Last week, the vigilance and anti-corruption officials arrested the Vice Chancellor of Bharathiar University after he was allegedly caught taking Rs 30 lakh from an assistant professor for regularising his job.