Tamil Nadu

DMK government counters AIADMK on COVID-19

Ma. Subramanian   | Photo Credit: M. Vedhan

The ruling DMK and the principal Opposition party, the AIADMK, were at loggerheads in the Assembly over the steps taken by each other’s governments to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the State. They also questioned each other over the reopening of State-run liquor shops and frequent power cuts in the State.

When AIADMK leader Edappadi K. Palaniswami elaborated on the threat posed by COVID-19, Leader of the House Duraimurugan recalled the Assembly session in March last year, when Mr. Palaniswami, as Chief Minister, contended that there was no need to fret over the pandemic. “It was you who said that we need not worry, and that you would protect everyone. But I had to save myself eventually,” he said.

Countering Mr. Palaniswami’s contention that the nature of the pandemic was not known even to scientists back then, Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan pointed out that other countries had, by then, realised the nature of the pandemic, and that was when the DMK urged the then AIADMK government to call for an all-party meeting to discuss the issue. “But you said there was no need for any politicians on the panel, but medical experts.”

Responding to Mr. Palaniswami’s contention that many were not being provided death certificates stating that they died due to COVID-19, Medical Minister Ma. Subramanian said death certificates across the country wouldn’t mention the cause of death. “Also, we are only following the ICMR guidelines for certifying the cause of death as COVID-19. Even your government did the same, and there is no change in what we are doing either,” he said.

When Mr. Palaniswami contended that the erstwhile AIADMK government brought RT-PCR testing centres to the State, the Finance Minister said it was during the DMK regime that the necessary equipment for these centres was acquired and hence the daily RT-PCR testing stood about 1.70 lakh tests a day.

HR&CE Minister P.K. Sekar Babu contended that the previous AIADMK government mismanaged the situation, which resulted in the mismatch of data on deaths due to COVID-19. He also said that was why the Health Secretary had to be transferred over the issue.

Congress MLA K. Selvaperunthagai raised the issue of allocation of funds by the previous AIADMK government to provide food and accommodation to doctors and health workers. Certain remarks made by him were expunged by the Chair after AIADMK leader O. Panneerselvam raised an objection.

When Medical Minister Ma. Subramanian sought to explain the issue in detail, Leader of the House Duraimurugan intervened to say that the debate was digressing and they should cease discussing it since no evidence was provided for the claim made by the Congress member.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 4:16:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/dmk-government-counters-aiadmk-on-covid-19/article34941263.ece

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