November 19, 2018
Chennai : Opposition DMK promptly jumped into to cash in on the anger against the AIADMK government on the perceived failure to provide relief to cyclone Gaja victims.
DMK president MK Stalin on Monday announced a Gaja cyclone relief of Rs one crore as relief to the cyclone victims and also directed all his party MLAs and MPs to donate their one month’s salary towards relief fund for the victims.
Stalin’s action makes a telling political comment at a time when television channels in Tamil Nadu were beaming live pictures of state Handlooms minister O Manian fleeing a village on a motorcycle after his vehicle was surrounded and he faced heckling from cyclone victims. The victims were also angry that the government representatives were coming there two days late, especially after promising that relief would be instant the moment cyclone struck.
The minister was seen riding pillion on a motorcycle driven by a policeman and taken to another village, where too he faced similar protests. In fact, other ministers too who visited cyclone affected regions suffered the same fate.
It is in this context that Stalin’s move to show the government in a poor light needs to be seen. He has added one more punch to his campaign against the Edapaddi Palaniswami government, which is losing the game of public perception. Besides becoming unpopular for its inability to deliver on poll promises and governance, the AIADMK government also suffers from a perception problem – it is seen as close to the BJP.
Since the people in general view the BJP in a negative light, it kind of rubs off on the state government as well as a perception analyst based in Chennai.
This is something that the government can ill afford as it faces general elections to Lok Sabha and has a challenge to retain all the 37 seats the party won under the leadership of J Jayalalithaa.