Flood relief work tardy, says MDMK leader

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazagam general secretary Vaiko has charged that the Chief Minister had "failed in her responsibility" in executing speedy flood relief works in the State.

Mr.Vaiko said knowing well in advance that calamity was going to happen in the State due to "unprecedented rain," the Chief Minister was not available at the State headquarters to oversee the relief work. No doubt that in some places the local collectors had done good work. But in many districts, officials were yet to visit the affected villages. During his tour, the affected people complained to him that enumeration of flood-hit people was yet to start in their areas. The overall flood-relief works in the State were not satisfactory, Mr.Vaiko told newsmen after a meeting of the district secretaries of the party here on Saturday. Mr.Vaiko said opposition parties were not for making political mileage out of the flood situation. They were interested in ensuring relief to the affected people. In this connection, he pointed out the Democratic Progressive Alliance had adopted a resolution urging the Prime Minister to sanction adequate funds to the State for relief operations.

This apart, DPA leaders also met the PM in person and appealed for liberal Central help to the State.

When newsmen asked his views about a coalition government in the State after the Assembly election, Mr.Vaiko said the party had not applied its mind on the issue. But he felt that people here always preferred single party rule. As far as the MDMK was concerned, it was more interested in solving people's issues. In this connection, he said a blood bank, sponsored by the party, was completing its one-year of operation and a function was being organised in Chennai on January 3. The bank had about 75,000 members on its roll and had been giving blood to patients who were in need of it.

Referring to the Kushboo issue, Mr.Vaiko said there was no need to take cognisance of statements made by people when their views normally did not have an impact on society. He did not think that either the Pattali Makkal Katchi or Dalit Panthers of India were behind agitations. Sometimes people indulged in agitations when they felt that they were hurt by statements issued by some people.

District secretaries of the party, meeting here earlier in the day, adopted a resolution urging the State Government to set up monitoring committees consisting of representatives of all political parties and non-governmental organisations to supervise flood relief work in the State.