AIADMK, DMK seek to take credit for controlling Covid in TN

Tamil Nadu’s ruling DMK and opposition AIADMK are fighting, both within the house and outside, over credit for controlling the Covid pandemic in the state.

Former minister and AIADMK spokesman D. Jayakumar set off the clash when he, on Monday, said that it was the party’s K. Palaniswami government that developed the health infrastructure in the state, while Medical and Family Welfare Minister Ma Subramanian said that it is the DMK government and Chief Minister M.K. Stalin who helped the state recover from the second wave of the pandemic by focused intervention.

The Assembly also witnessed a major spat on the issue of containment of Covid-19 on Wednesday.

Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister Palaniswami told the house that his government had taken several initiatives including conducting 9.4 lakh fever clinics which benefited 4.85 crore people since March 2020.

He said that his government opened 267 laboratories for quick testing of patients during the initial days.

“Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, and social activists did not have any idea about the disease and were scared. The government arranged PPE kits, stocked adequate drugs, N95 masks, and was even recognised by the Prime Minister in the all Chief Ministers meetings held virtually.”

He said that it was his government that brought the situation under control in state.

Refuting the claims, Subramanian said: “The DMK government under Thiru M.K. Stalin has taken the initiative to increase the per day testing from 85000 to 1.7 lakh a day. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a recent meeting had said that Tamil Nadu was a role model and the efforts taken in Chennai should be a model for other corporations in the country.”

Political observers, however, say that both Dravidian parties should not have stooped to this level, taking credit for controlling a pandemic that has claimed the lives of many.

“Bringing down Covid-19 fresh and active cases is the duty of the government. It is immaterial as to who rules the state and who is in opposition,” Madurai-based journalist-turned-political analyst S. Sivashankar said.