“Sattre vilagi irum, pillaai”

On the campaign trail from the DMK-led alliance, the Congress' number one campaigner, P Chidambaram was at his trailblazing best in his just-concluded speech in Cuddalore. The Finance Minister reeled out statistics to rubbish the TN Government's claims that the Centre was least helpful when calamity struck the state.

Mr. Chidambaram stated that a sum of Rs. 5025 crores had been allocated for the state, of which a major portion still remains unclaimed. For example, the State Government was to have claimed reimbursements for houses built for tsunami victims. Yet, not a penny has been claimed so far. The FM opined that this implied that the Jayalalithaa government hadn't built a single house to rehabilitate a single victim.

Quoting from Gopalakrishna Bharati's Nandanaar Charitram, the FM had just four words for the incumbents — sattre vilagi irum, pillaai! (According to Nandanaar Charitram, Nandanaar, a person born of a low caste, was refused admission into a Siva temple. Overcome with grief, he stood outside the shrine to catch a glimpse of Lord Siva. However his view was obstructed by the Nandi, and Nandanaar sang, requesting to Nandi to stay aside to help him get an unobstructed view.) Mr. Chidambaram mentioned that Amma's government was like a Nandi which obstructed the implementation of any good plans formulated for Tamil Nadu at the Centre.

He also questioned the logic behind the ADMK's promise of 10 kilos of free rice, and wondered how Mr. Vaiko who threw tantrums at the DMK's election promise of rice at Rs 2 per kg, suddenly found logic in the ADMK's claims.

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9 comments so far

  1. manlion on

    Why should Mr.Chidambaram choose a Poll Platform to say that the TN Govt. hasn’t approached the Centre for reimbursements. Several months after the tsunami struck, the AIADMK Govt. has been openly alleging that it is the FM in connivance with Mr.Karunanidhi has been blocking the funds. It is a serious allegation and as a Central Minister incharge of the Finance portfolio, he should have given a rebuttal long ago. It shows that this is nothing but ballot-box politics.

  2. Vijay Krishna on

    Good point. But what would be your answer to DMK asking the government, “Why wait for the elections to announce 10 kgs of free rice?” Isn’t that votebank politics?

  3. manlion on

    You are right. But then that’s the way TN politics is all about. But, in the case of tsunami and floods, the Centre shouldn’t play politics. After all the Central Govt. is duty bound to come to the resucue of those who elected them to power. All said and done, ultimately it’s the people in distress who are the sufferers.

  4. Vijay Krishna on

    I’m not one to comment on whether the funds were actually asked for or disbursed. But one must appreciate the Government’s handling of the tsunami crisis.

    What is evident though is Ms. Jayalalithaa wanting to be the ONLY benefactress of the people of this state. When she wants it done, Sethusamudram is good. But when TR Baalu does it, it becomes bad? Same for the tsunami relief efforts.

    It’s all very easy to sweep things under the carpet by claiming that this is the way politics is. The State Government’s exclusivity has hit the state, even in cases where the Centre has been ready to help. Come, deny that…

  5. manlion on

    Not just Sethusamudram. There are many more good projects that are proposed by one party and vehemently opposed by the other, just for the sake of opposing. This is what I referred to as TN politics. I don’t think things happen so in other states. Or, may be not to the extent as in TN where each party look at the opponent as enemies even in private life. If things are to change for the good of Tamilnadu, people should look for a viable alternative to both these Dravidian parties. When I say ‘viable alternative’, I do not include the PMK and the MDMK as they too are equally evil forces. Under the circumstances, the obvious choice, in my opinion, is Congress. And I know it is a distant dream.

  6. Vijay Krishna on

    I’m sorry, maybe you are daydreaming. At least with the DMK and the ADMK, one party opposes what the other party says. Within the TN Congress, there are 101 factions. And each opposes what any other faction says.

  7. manlion on

    No two opinions on that. That’s why I said it’s not an immediate dream but a distant one on the hope that they would keep their house in order in the decades ahead.

  8. Eshwar S on

    I agree with VK’s assesment about the current dismal state of the TNCC.

    The problem is TNCC can never grow as long as the congress national leadership changes their attitude. TN congress party has produced some of most respected and capable leaders like kamaraj, rajaji, venkatraman, and moopanar.

    Since congress central leadership doesn’t care about local politics anymore many of the newer leaders prefer to spend more time in delhi (eg. chidambaram) and have lost touch with the masses.

    Even as late as 1980s the congress party in TN managed to get about 25% of the total votes and won about 20 odd seats. After that Rajiv Gandhi chose to take the simpler route and decided to join hands with ADMK thus marking the beginning of the congress party in the state.

  9. Hi on

    In fairness to PC, he has rebutted JJ on several occasions on both the Tsunami Relief n Desalination Plant. Manlion isnt right in saying that PC is doing it only now. It is perhaps the nth time PC has done it. It has come into focus now because of the elections. Reg. TN Congress, less said the better. It is a Party with more `leaders’ than `workers’ as everybody invariably is a past President of TNCC or at least Member of some Committee or the other. Who is is going to work for the Party if everybody wants to be only a Leader. It is like saying `everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die’


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