The M.K. Stalin-led Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) government completed 100 days in power in Tamil Nadu this week. The period is significant as prior to winning the state assembly elections in May this year, Stalin had promised to resolve more than 17 lakh petitions received by his party if it was voted to power.
It is unknown whether these petitions were fully addressed. However, the state government has received praise for partly fulfilling other poll promises, such as distributing Rs 2,000 in lieu of COVID-19 relief and reducing tax on petrol by three rupees.
Yet, many issues pertaining to livelihoods and workers’ remain unaddressed. The state witnessed several protests in the months leading up to the assembly elections this year. People have still been voicing their demands with little response from the state.
Here’s a video of some such protests held this week.
OPPOSITION WALKS OUT AGAIN
Following the presentation of a revised state budget last Friday, and a separate agriculture budget on Saturday, the assembly met on Monday, August 15, to discuss the budget.
The debate commenced with the Leader of Opposition and former TN CM Edappadi K. Palaniswami's speech. However, he was denied permission as he spoke on the Kodanad issue, for which he had not obtained prior permission from the speaker.
The AIADMK MLAs soon walked out of the assembly hall, raising slogans against the state government. The MLAs had walked out while the finance minister had presented the budget last week as well.
COVID-19: COVAXIN SHORTAGE
Tamil Nadu reported a considerable reduction in daily COVID-19 cases and deaths this week – a total of 1,667 infections and 24 deaths were recorded on August 20.
However, a dearth of vaccines is slowing down the inoculation drive, and has even led to delays for people who were to get their second jabs.
Among the states that have given the least number of doses per hundred people in the 45+ age group, Tamil Nadu, alongside Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, tops the list.
Till this week Tamil Nadu had vaccinated 2.74 crore people and has 8.89 lakh vaccine doses in stock.
58 NON-BRAHMIN PRIESTS APPOINTED
The DMK Government appointed 58 trained non-Brahmin temple priests in Tamil Nadu, as was its poll promise.
The move immediately resulted in counter campaigns on social media, with claims that some Brahmin priests were selectively terminated from service to make way for non-Brahmin priests. The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments minister outright denied the rumours.
Members of the Hindu Makkal Katchi protested the state government’s decision to appoint priests of all castes, saying the move hurts Hindu sentiments.
TRIBAL CHILD LABOUR RACKET BUSTED
Heavy job losses for adults among the Jawadhu tribals has forced the children of the community to take up jobs. The long closure of schools further worsened their plight.
However, the racket was busted by officials this week.
CPI CALLS FOR PEOPLE’S PARLIAMENT
The Communist Party of India (CPI) is set to conduct a ‘People’s Parliament’ at 5,000 places in the state in the coming week. State secretary R. Mutharasan said the intention behind the move was to discuss the 25 Bills recently passed in the Parliament.