At a time when Tamil Nadu is limping back to normalcy after cyclone Gaja wreaked havoc in several districts of the state, the opposition DMK has sensed a political opportunity and announced a donation of Rs 1 crore for relief and rehabilitation work. In a statement issued today, party president MK Stalin said the DMK Trust will contribute a sum of Rs 1 crore towards the relief activities. Besides, DMK MLAs and MPs will also contribute one month’s salary for relief activities.
“The cyclone and rain have severely affected people’s lives. To retrieve them from the unprecedented damage, a sum of Rs 1 crore will be provided from the DMK Trust,” Stalin said.
The development comes at a time when the AIADMK government is at the receiving end over its failure to reach out to the victims of the cyclone and provide them with relief materials like food, drinking water and medicines. In Pudukottai district, victims alleged that they were not getting relief materials and hit the streets. Several government vehicles also set on fire by the agitators.
Also Read: Cyclone Gaja toll rises to 45, Tamil Nadu CM K Palaniswami asks all leaders to join relief operations
Also, state minister OS Manian’s convoy was attacked when he went on a visit to Nagapattinam to assess the situtation. Manian was surrounded by angry protesters who were shouting at him and asking him to leave the spot. When he tried to escape on a bike, he was again confronted by angry public. He was later taken away securely in a police vehicle.
The party was also mocked over reports of AIADMK workers giving a grand welcome to CM EPS in Salem. The CM was also welcomed with banners and posters in his hometown.
Stalin, who toured the cyclone-hit areas, said that it appears the CM’s heart was made of iron as he was more interested in inaugurating projects rather than visiting victims of the disaster. He accused the government of failing to provide sufficient food, clothing and drinking water to people at relied camps.
Also Read: Cyclone Gaja – see pics, videos of devastation
PMK leader S Ramadoss also joined Stalin to fire salvos at the AIADMK government. He said that it was a shame that the state government was not providing even food for the cyclone affected people. He said that various districts in the Cauvery delta region like Thanjavur, Nagapattinam and Thiruvarur had been severely affected.
The recent announcement by DMK is seen as an attempt to corner the AIADMK government even as the CM claimed that relief activities were underway on war footing. He also made an appeal to all the political parties to help in the relief and rescue operations.
“In villages, lots of trees and standing crops have been damaged, affecting the livelihood of farmers. The extent of damage is being evaluated. Till now, 45 people have lost their lives due to the cyclone,” Palaniswami said.
He added that officials are surveying the areas affected by cyclone Gaja to assess the quantum of loss. Besides, several ministers have also been deployed in Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, and Pudukottai to take stock of relief activities.
Cyclone Gaja had hit the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu last week. It had claimed 45 lives, damaged over 1 lakh houses and public property. According to state government data, 88,102 hectare of crop and 39,932 electric poles were uprooted due to the cyclonic storm. Besides, the loss of livestock was put at 735.