December 3, 2017
A packet of tomato rice, Rs 150 cash and a stainless steel bowl. These are the freebies reportedly given to the women who were ferried to the VOC Park grounds in Coimbatore for the ruling AIADMK’s MGR centenary celebrations held on Sunday.
Most of the women from the poor economic background who The Covai Post interacted with at the venue said the same – that they were given tomato rice for lunch, Rs 150 cash and stainless steel bowl for attending the event.
When asked why they were not given chicken or mutton biriyani, a group of women who were brought from Pollachi said the AIADMK functionaries told them that they had to make do with tomato rice as this was the Tamil month of Karthigai (when many Hindus abstain from non-vegetarian food).
Two Arunthadhiyar women from a slum near Coimbatore Medical College and Hospital said the local AIADMK functionary distributed Rs.150 and also an ‘ever silver thondi’ to all women in the locality, a day before transporting them to the venue for the event.
But women from Pollachi, ferried in a school bus, said they would be given cash only after they return home. “We were promised money if we attend the function. We are hoping to get at least Rs 500. But we do not know how much we would be given,” a Muslim woman said.
But this was not the case with men. They were treated to chicken biriyani, liquor and also money to ensure attendance at the event.
“I could see many cadre sitting in groups under tree shades and boozing away to glory on the Maruthamalai road right in the morning,” said an Ola cab driver.
In a video that The Covai Post had put out, Sulur AIADMK MLA Kanagaraj was found distributing wads of 2000 rupee notes and cartons of liquor bottles to the local functionaries who were reportedly assigned to give them away to people in their locality as bribe to bring them to the venue.