Tamil Nadu

Stalin hits back at Chief Minister, says save the people first

DMK president M.K. Stalin

DMK president M.K. Stalin   | Photo Credit: B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

In a statement on Friday, the DMK president said it was due to the lies and deception of the State government’s actions that the State is facing such a crisis with COVID-19

DMK president M.K. Stalin on Friday slammed Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, asking him not to play with the lives of the citizens of Tamil Nadu and said that the Chief Minister has been indulging in diversionary tactics by stating that there is no COVID-19 spread in the State, right from the beginning.

In a statement on Friday, Mr. Stalin charged that it was due to the lies and deception of the State government’s actions that the State is facing such a crisis situation. “Do not hide the disease, do not give out false statistics, increase testing. Immediately purchase medical equipment, protective gear. Do not make erroneous, false promises that cannot be fulfilled. Take measures to somehow save the lives of the people of the State,” Mr. Stalin said.

Mr. Stalin said the Chief Minister would not only be fooling himself by hiding the spread of the disease but also fooling the people. “I am repeatedly asking you to not play with the lives of the citizens for your political gains and agenda,” he said.

Pointing to Mr. Palaniswami’s statement on Thursday at a press conference that COVID-19 cases would decline in another two to three days, Mr. Stalin wondered if the CM was trying to divert the issue. “The CM himself said that 17,835 persons have been tested so far. Of this, the results of 1,383 persons have not come yet. Those who know what percentage these 18,000 persons constitute out of the total population of Tamil Nadu should inform the CM about this statistic,” Mr. Stalin said.

“Despite repeated warnings from everyone to buy more medical equipment and increase testing, he did not heed to this and is suddenly claiming that the spread has come down…this is like a cat closing its eyes and thinking that the whole world has become dark,” the DMK president charged.

The leader of the Opposition also questioned how the Chief Minister was claiming that his government took swift action to control the spread of the disease. “When the intensity of the spread of COVID-19 came to light in January-end in Kerala, the Kerala government announced it as a disaster on February 4. But, Mr. Palaniswami said that the borders of Tamil Nadu was closed on March 16. Was that swift action? Was that an action taken knowing the intensity of the disease?” Mr. Stalin asked.

The DMK leader further said that he kept insisting on an all-party meeting to be held so that they would be able to apprise the ruling party of the nature of the disease and the people’s expectations of the government. “But, the CM who nods his head to whatever the Prime Minister says somehow forgot to speak about our request to hold an all-party meet,” he said.

Mr. Stalin said since the meeting was not held, he had sent a letter with various recommendations to the Chief Minister to consider, but Mr. Palaniswami had instead resorted to attacking him instead of implementing those recommendations or even saying that he will consider them.

On the CM’s charge that the DMK MPs should ask the Centre to help the State, since the Opposition parties have 38 MPs in Parliament, Mr. Stalin pointed out that the DMK took part in the all-party meeting with the Prime Minister and the party’s representative T.R. Baalu had asked the Centre to provide the funds sought by the Tamil Nadu government to fight COVID-19. “He has also made the request in writing. Has the Chief Minister forgotten that?,” Mr. Stalin asked.

Mr. Stalin said he could resort to politicking on the failures of this government on its handling of the COVID-19 crisis, but the DMK was not keen on that. “We won’t resort to politicking. We don’t want to allow that to divert the government’s focus. Otherwise the poor people of the State will end up suffering. That is why we are being patient,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 4, 2020 11:22:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/stalin-hits-back-at-chief-minister-says-save-the-people-first/article31364662.ece

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