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DMK, AIADMK in war of Words During Shortened Assembly Session

Neelambaran A |
The ruling and the main opposition parties accused each other of discontinuing schemes announced during their regimes.

The first session of the Tamil Nadu Assembly this year lasted only three days due to the third wave of COVID-19. The session, during which the Question Hour was telecast live for the first time, witnessed a war of words between the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the opposition All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) on a range of issues, including the closure of AMMA clinics and the arrest of a former minister from his hiding place in Karnataka. 

As soon as the new governor, RN Ravi, began addressing the House highlighting the DMK government’s efforts in the last nine months, AIADMK members walked out. Condemning the delay in forwarding the Bill seeking exemption from NEET from the governor’s office, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi legislators walked out as well. The DMK leadership, including chief minister MK Stalin, met the governor and urged him to send the Bill during an all-party meeting that was boycotted only by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 

Heated arguments between the Treasury and the Opposition beaches ensued when the health minister announced the decision to close down AMMA clinics citing lack of infrastructure, Budget allocation and manpower. The AIADMK accused the government of terminating schemes introduced by the previous government. 

Both AIADMK and DMK accused each other of discontinuing projects announced during their tenures. The DMK rejected the allegations of plans to close AMMA canteens and accused the AIADMK of removing former CM M Karunanidhi’s name from several schemes and terminating people-centric projects.

The arrest of former minister for milk and dairy development KT Rajendra Bhalaji by the Tamil Nadu Police in Karnataka also triggered allegations with the AIADMK accusing the government of conducting political vendetta by forming several special teams to nab him. The Directorate of Corruption and Anticorruption (DVAC) has booked five former ministers on corruption charges.


The DMK, AIADMK and BJP are all taking credit for the 11 new medical colleges across the state that will be inaugurated on Wednesday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The previous AIADMK government had announced the plan to set up 17 such institutes in districts which lacked any medical college with the Centre approving 11. Of the total budget of Rs 4,000 crore, the Centre and state will contribute 60% and 40% respectively.

Virudhunagar, Namakkal, Nilgiris, Tiruppur, Thiruvallur, Nagapattinam, Dindigul, Kallakurichi, Ariyalur, Ramanathapuram, and Krishnagiri districts will get their first medical college with a cumulative intake of 1,450 MBBS students. 

The BJP has been desperately banking on Modi’s visit to Virudhunagar to gain political mileage. However, the spike in fresh infections forced the cancellation of the visit and the inauguration will be done through video conferencing.


With increasing infections, the state government has imposed a lockdown on Sundays till January 31 along with restrictions on public events and night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am except public transport and emergency services.

Tamil Nadu started reporting a huge spike in cases in the first week of January. The number of active cases has also increased exponentially with Chennai again reporting the maximum number of fresh infections. 

The decision to close places of worship from January 14-18 during Pongal has been criticised by the BJP. Though the government has allowed Jallikattu, held during Pongal, restrictions have been put on the number of bulls and the audience to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the DMK, which had opposed the opening of liquor shops during the first and second waves of the pandemic, has allowed them to remain open.

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