Govt sops given to uplift the poor: Jayalalithaa

Tiruvallur: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday insisted that the sops given away at no cost by her government were aimed at uplifting the poor and the oppressed, but that some persons were trying to malign the effort as freebies.

In her address here at the launch of the special initiatives of her government such as providing laptops to students, and cows and goats, all at no cost, she said that these were intended at uplifting the respective beneficiaries, most of them "poorest of the poor".

"Milch cows scheme, for instance, envisages benefiting 60,000 persons in five years. Jersey cross-breed cows are provided to beneficiaries which will yield good quantity of milk. This will help in milk production going up in the state (over the years) resulting in (another) white revolution," she said at the function coinciding with the birth anniversary of Dravidian icon, the late CN Annadurai.

The goats scheme, for which the beneficiaries were being selected from the "poorest of the poor," will help such persons "stand on their own feet," in the next two years, ensuring their "economic independence," she said.

For both the aforesaid schemes, 30 percent of the scheme was reserved for Adi Dravidars and Scheduled Tribes, she said adding this was an effort to uplift the said communities.

Not realising the welfare motives behind such efforts, some persons were maligning them, and had even moved the Supreme Court against them, she said adding those who had knowledge of economics would not accept that these schemes aimed at making people self-dependent are 'freebies'.

Taking a dig at her archrival and DMK chief M Karunanidhi, she said he was issuing statements criticising her.

"He had (as Chief Minister) said that freebies will exist till the poor exist, which is an insult to the people," Jayalalithaa said adding he was only concerned about their votes but not their welfare.

While the laptop schemes and aid for school students were aimed as part of the State's human resource development, the free mixer-grinder and fan scheme would help homemakers lessen their burden of domestic chores, she said.

Later, Jayalalithaa, who described herself as a "loving sister" of the people of the State, officially launched the respective schemes worth over Rs 2,300 crore, keeping up her poll promise in this regard.

The Chief Minister had in her Independence Day address, said it was the "duty of the Welfare State," to safeguard the interests of the poor by distributing goods free of cost.