November 1, 2016
Thanjavur: At a time when various political parties in the State are demanding total prohibition, 49-year-old M.S. Arumugam, who filed his nomination papers today for the Thanjavur constituency, contests this election on the plank of welfare of tipplers.
Arumugam, who is the secretary of Tamil Nadu Madhu Kudippore Vizhippunarvu Sangam (Liquor Consumers Awareness Association), seeks financial compensation for the families of those who died due to alcoholism, medical treatments for alcoholics and several other welfare measures.
Sporting a pink shawl with pictures of liquor bottles and wearing yellow threads (symbolic mangalsutras) around his neck, Arumugam marched to the RDO office to file his nomination papers with Revenue Divisional Officer C. Suresh.
Arumugam, who hails from Ambattur in Chennai, said his father Sellan, a retired Khalasi in railways, died in 2001 due to alcoholism. “After that I was forced to give up alcohol,” he said.
The school drop-out, who claims that Tamil Nadu stands second in the country in terms of the number of young widows due to alcoholism, demanded that the Government give pension to those who contribute to the State’s revenue by patronising TASMAC shops. His association’s election manifesto also has the bottle symbol embossed on it.
“The State Government earns about Rs. 26,000 crores every year by running TASMAC outlets. We contribute to the State’s revenue at the cost of our health,” he said.
Arumugam had earlier contested the bypoll for Srirangam constituency and the general elections from the Ambattur constituency. He secured just 56 votes in Srirangam constituency and 100 votes in Ambattur.
His association has demanded setting up of specialty hospitals exclusively for alcoholics, health insurance for tipplers, computerised billing at TASMAC shops and hygienic bar facilities. P Chellapandian, president of the association, expressed confidence that Arumugam would make a mark in this elections.