EPS leads State-wide protests against DMK govt


Chennai: In a robust demonstration of dissent, Leader of Opposition and AIADMK General Secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami led a protest in front of the Kallakurichi Collectorate on Monday, demanding the resignation of Chief Minister MK Stalin over the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy.

The incident, which has claimed over 55 lives in the past six days, has sparked widespread condemnation and calls for accountability from the ruling DMK government.

The protests were part of a coordinated state-wide demonstration by AIADMK, with rallies held at all district headquarters. The demonstrations aimed to highlight the government’s failure to prevent the sale of illicit arrack, which led to the tragic deaths. More than 80 people are still undergoing treatment in JIPMER, Puducherry, and government hospitals in Villupuram and Salem district.

A senior AIADMK leader articulated the party’s demands, stating, “The protests were organised demanding that Chief Minister MK Stalin take moral responsibility for the Kallakurichi spurious liquor incident which claimed several lives, and resign.”

In Kallakurichi, Palaniswami was joined by former minister and senior AIADMK leader C V Shanmugam. Other senior leaders, including Natham R Viswanathan, Dindigul C Srinivasan, S P Velumani, P Thangamani, and R B Udhayakumar, led protests in front of collectorates in their respective districts. In Chennai, former fisheries minister D Jayakumar staged a protest along with party cadres in front of the Collectorate.

Palaniswami and AIADMK legislators have also been vocal in the state assembly, demanding a debate on the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy. They protested in the assembly on the first and second days of the ongoing session, which commenced on June 20. On the first day, they were forcibly evicted from the House after raising slogans and demanding the adjournment of the Question Hour to discuss the hooch tragedy.

The Kallakurichi hooch tragedy has brought to light the pervasive issue of illicit liquor in the state. The consumption of ‘paper arrack’ mixed with methanol led to severe poisoning and numerous fatalities. The incident has ignited public outrage and intensified calls for stricter enforcement of prohibition laws and more proactive measures to curb the illegal liquor trade.

The AIADMK’s state-wide protests and demands for Chief Minister MK Stalin’s resignation underscore the political and social impact of the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy. As investigations continue and the death toll rises, the focus remains on ensuring justice for the victims and implementing effective measures to prevent such incidents in the future.