Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami today dismissed as a blatant lie DMK's "commission" taunt against the AIADMK government over the Salem-Chennai expressway and defended the Rs 10,000 crore project, saying it would benefit the people.
Referring to senior DMK leader Duraimurugan's reported remarks that the ruling party leadership would get 'commission' in executing the green field road project, he said "this is a blatant lie".
Attacking the government over the project, Duraimurugan had made the remarks at a recent public meeting.
Seeking to turn the tables on the main opposition party, the Chief Minister said during the UPA-I regime, the DMK representative held the Union Surface Transport Ministry portfolio and asked "how much commission" it would have got by executing road projects across the country.
"It is you (DMK) who swindled money," he alleged adding "do not disparage us, we are implementing the road project for the people's use."
Defending the road project, Palaniswami highlighted its benefits like the 60-km cut in the distance and savings in fuel adding that all key highways in Tamil Nadu needed upgrade.
He said the expressway project was a central government scheme and the state government's role was confined to aspects like land acquisition.
The state government has been backing the proposed project under the centre's 'Bharatmala Pariyojana' scheme, saying it will stimulate growth like the Mumbai-Pune and Delhi-Agra expressway projects.
There is opposition from certain quarters over concerns that it will lead to loss of farm and forest lands.
DMK had maintained that while it did not oppose the project, it wanted the state government to hold wide-ranging consultations with stake holders before going ahead.