The opposition party in Tamil Nadu, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (AIADMK) kickstarts its golden jubilee celebrations with attacks from many sides. After the DMK came to power, four AIADMK ministers were raided by the DVAC, all of whom are close associates of former chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami.
Under the leadership of the Centre for Indian Trade Unions (CITU), construction workers staged a state-wide protest on October 20. These workers who risk their lives everyday are demanding minimum support such as old-age pension and relief in case of accident or death.
The rains that were lashing the state, and particularly the southern districts in Tamil Nadu, over the past couple of weeks reached its peak later last week. Kanyakumari and its neighbouring districts were the worst affected with hundreds of people evicted and crops damaged.
New COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu dropped to 1,152 on October 22, compared to 1,164 it had registered the day before, and 19 deaths were reported. Although the vaccination camps have been successful, the state is still far behind other states in administering the second dose.
COVID-19: TN LAGS BEHIND IN 2ND DOSE
Only 26% of the eligible population in Tamil Nadu have been administered the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine till October 20. The state falls behind the national average of 29%. The data also reveals that 73% people have taken the first dose in the State, compared to the national average of 70%.
The Tamil Nadu government announced that it would allow reopening of schools for classes I to VIII from November 1. The students will return to school after a gap of 19 months. Simultaneously, efforts are made to bring back dropouts, which is more than 1.28 lakh in government and government-aided schools.
After a good response for the first five mega vaccination camps, the state organised a sixth camp at 50,000 centres on October 23.
MORE TROUBLE FOR AIADMK
Starting on October 17, the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) raided 43 locations linked to the former Health Minister from AIADMK, C Vijayabaskar, on charges of disproportionate assets.
Later in the week, the DVAC also conducted searches in premises of 'Salem' R Elangovan, chairman of TN State Apex Cooperative Bank and a close aide of former CM Edappadi Palaniswami, also in a disproportionate asset case.
Meanwhile, ousted AIADMK leader V Sasikala is making renewed attempts to lay claim to the party she was expelled from in 2017. On October 17 she unveiled a plaque naming herself as the ‘general secretary’ of the party, a post that former CM J Jayalalithaa held. The party’s organisational secretary filed a complaint with the police seeking action against her for “cheating by impersonation”, among other accusations.
HEAVY RAIN IN SOUTH TN
Several parts of southern Tamil Nadu received torrential rains late last week. Kanyakumari was the worst hit as several low lying areas were inundated and hundreds of people were shifted to relief camps. Read more
Rains have damaged crops that were ready for harvest across the region and farmers are apparently staring at a severe loss.
STATE-WIDE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS PROTEST
Construction workers protesting in Trichy. Image courtesy: CITU Tamil Nadu
A monthly pension of Rs 3,000, education assistance for children, relief in case of death, and other provisions are mandatory for construction workers. These are as per the order of the Supreme Court and the decision taken by the Construction Workers Welfare Board at a meeting held on September 16, 2019.
Demanding the implementation of these basic demands, protests were staged in districts across the state by the CITU on October 20.
PAVEMENT DWELLERS FORCEFULLY EVICTED
A community of 50 families living on the pavements of Egmore in the heart of Chennai were suddenly evicted by the city corporation. The manner in which the homeless families were evicted, without prior notice, has been condemned by them and activists.
Pavement families being evicted in Egmore
The evicted pavement dwellers who were relocated to a shelter in Periamet faced mistreatment such as receiving food transported in a garbage collection vehicle.
PUNISHED FOR WANTING WAGE HIKE
Condemning the authoritarian attitude of the JBM Auto System management, the workers took out a procession outside the plant in Oragadam industrial belt in Kancheepuram on October 22.
JBM workers on protest. Image courtesy: CITU Kancheepuram.
Employees of JBM have been waging struggles for necessary wage hikes for many years. In response, the management terminated 14 employees, suspended 15 of them and transferred 20 to Delhi. Although the management promised to reinstate the terminated workers, it did not do so.
SRI LANKAN NAVY KILLS TN FISHERMAN
A 30-year-old fisherman from Kottaipattinam in Pudukkottai district was killed and two others were detained for allegedly crossing over to the Sri Lankan border when the naval vehicle intercepted the boat of the fishermen.
The members of the fishing community of the village continue to sit on a hunger strike against the atrocities meted out. They insisted that the state and Union governments put an end to the attacks by the Sri Lankan navy. Read more.