Chennai :-When M.K. Stalin assumed office on May 7 as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, it was after 10 long years the DMK was returning to power. The hurdles and obstacles were many with the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and daily cases touching around 30,000, Stalin himself had admitted in various interviews and media interactions that he was not happy or excited about becoming the Chief Minister and that his worry was to handle the Covid crisis.
Immediately on assuming office, the Chief Minister functioned with precision, created a war room and held series of meetings with officials and ministers and got to the bottom of the crisis and now Covid-19 is under control and Stalin can be given the credit of properly managing the pandemic and preventing the disease from escalating further.
While there are different opinions regarding the performance of the DMK government in the past 100 days, even the bitter critics agree that Stalin has done well. The million-dollar question that is crossing the minds of political observers, analysts, political students, and journalists is whether the Chief Minister will be able to maintain the momentum and retain the success story scripted by the government in the past 100 days.
The Chief Minister is brimming with confidence that the DMK government will retain the goodwill that it has created by indulging in people friendly measures and that the tempo would be maintained. The opposition AIADMK had also by and large given support to the government in countering the pandemic and was not too antagonistic to the Stalin regime. The government also reciprocated and for the first time in the history of Tamil Nadu, AIADMK leader and former Health minister C. Vijabaskar was included in the 13-member committee constituted by the state government to formulate plans to counter the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, two recent incidents of back to back raids by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) wing of the state police on former ministers and senior leaders of the AIADMK, M.R. Vijayabaskar and S.P. Velumani has put the ball back in Stalin’s court and the AIADMK has already come out in the open that the DMK government and Chief Minister Stalin was practicing politics of vendetta and that the AIADMK could not be cowed down by such measures.
As the elections to the local bodies in rural constituencies of nine new districts is to be conducted by September 15 as directed by the Supreme Court, the AIADMK will try to fan up anti-DMK fever across the state, especially among party cadres so that they go all out for the elections.
The DMK government has in one masterstroke of reducing the prices of petrol by Rs 3 per litre endeared itself to the masses and across the state the people have welcomed the gesture. This measure by the state finance minister P.T.R. Thiagarajan in the first paperless Budget of the state gave DMK a leap ahead. The DMK can now proudly claim that one of the most important poll policies projected by the party could be met.
While the state is facing a mounting crisis of economic woes with Tamil Nadu already in debts of around Rs 5 lakh crore, the people’s friendly measure of the Finance Minister by reducing petrol price, is seen by the industry and business community as a measure that would take the state backward and create more economic issues.
However, Stalin was unfazed and he said that while the government had brought out a white paper on the state’s finances to portray before the people the exact position of the state’s finances, the government would move ahead with the promises that the party had mentioned in the election manifesto.
Stalin, according to political observers, has done a decent job in the first 100 days of his assuming office and that all credit goes to him and his team.
C. Rajeev, Director, Centre for Policy and Development Studies (CPDS), a think tank based out of Chennai told IANS, “The first 100 days of governance was superb and Stalin has proved that he is a leader and has clearly come out of the shadows of his late father, M. Karunanidhi and managed the tough Covid pandemic sufficiently well. However, the one big question plaguing the minds of those who watch and seriously observe the policies and programmes of the state government, it is imperative that Stalin keeps up the momentum as also the good work he and his government has done.”
He adds, “If the state government falters in the next 100 days in office, it would be considered a failure.”
By and large, the government of M.K. Stalin has done well in the first 100 days of his governance, but to sustain the momentum the government must stop politics of vendetta and instead, try and practice inclusiveness to get better results.