War of words between Stalin, EPS

Chennai: Accusing the previous AIADMK regime led by Edappadi K Palaniswami of being negligent in handling the Covid situation that led to spike in daily cases between 26 February and 6 May, Tamilnadu Chief Minister M K Stalin has assured that his government will put an end to the Covid pandemic.

Replying to the debate on the motion of thanks to the Governor for his address in the State Assembly, he also wished that the third wave of Covid should not come. “But if it comes, the state government is ready to face it,” he added.

Pointing out that the daily Covid caseload stood at 481 on 26 February when the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) for the Assembly elections came into force, he said the numbers went past 26,000 on 7 May, when the DMK government assumed power.

He attributed this sharp increase in daily cases to the negligent attitude of former CM Palaniswami and sought to know whether his hands were tied in controlling the spread of the pandemic.

Referring to Palaniswami’s argument that the permission of the Election Commission has to be sought on the issue as the MCC was in force, Stalin referred to the meetings held by the former CM with the Chief Secretary and officials and the letters written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on procurment of Covid vaccines and said by 28 April the daily cases went up to 16,665 as per the government data.

Stating that the Covid control measures were taken up at the supervision of the former CM, he said on May two, the day of counting of votes, the daily cases were 19,588.

‘The previous AIADMK government has to take responsbility for the surge in cases in April and its argument that the AIADMK has controlled its spread is wrong’, he added.

Referring to the all party meeting convened by him to elicit their views on controlling the Covid spread, Stalin said all the members of this House should convey their views to the government continuously to bring an end to the pandemic.

After the DMK came to power, the daily cases went up to 36,000 mark and medical experts said that it might even touch the 50,000-mark. “But due to the steps taken by the government on a war-footing, it has now come down to less than 7,000 and it will further come down in the coming days,” Stalin said.

On medical experts predicting a possible third wave, he said it should not come. “If it comes, the government is ready to face it,” he said, and pointed out that 89,618 new beds were created during the last one-and-a-half months.

“This is not a political or party issue. It is a people’s issue…it’s an issue concerning the welfare of the people,” he said and assured that with the support and cooperation of all members of the House, the DMK government will put an end to the Covid pandemic.

Recalling various initiatives launched by the DMK regime in its 49-day old rule including providing Covid financial assistance to various sections of the people, Stalin said a total of 22 members spoke during the two-day debate and their views would be taken as suggestions and would be implemented.


NT Bureau