‘Crack down on illicit arrack gangs’

In a heated session of the State Assembly on Friday, allies of the ruling DMK pressed for a stringent approach against illicit arrack gangs in light of the recent Kallakurichi hooch tragedy. The special calling attention motion was spearheaded by Congress legislature party leader K. Selvaperunthagai, who highlighted similar tragedies in BJP-ruled states like Gujarat, cautioning against politicizing the issue during such critical times.
Selvaperunthagai’s call for a non-partisan approach to the crisis resonated with many, but the debate soon turned toward accountability within the state’s own administration. Tamizhaga Valvurimai Katchi leader T. Velmurugan pointed fingers at certain officials, alleging that the illicit trade flourished under their watch. He suggested that officers opposed to the Dravidian ideology might be undermining the government’s efforts, and criticized their treatment of elected representatives, citing an instance where a Superintendent of Police maintained a 15-foot distance during a meeting.
“Are we untouchables?” Velmurugan questioned, urging the government to hold all levels of elected representatives accountable, from MLAs to ministers and even panchayat chairmen, whenever such tragedies occur.
Kongunadu Makkal Desiya Katchi (KMDK) MLA E.R. Eswaran offered a different solution, advocating for the legalization of toddy tapping to provide a safer alternative and potentially curb the proliferation of illicit hooch.
The assembly session underscored the complexity of the issue, with calls for both immediate punitive measures and long-term policy changes. The DMK government faces mounting pressure to address the illicit arrack trade decisively while navigating the political and administrative challenges highlighted by its allies.