23 October, 2020

Chancy Gambits: Chennai's Fight Against Covid-19 And Dangerous Games That Politicians Play

Amidst bungling, Tamil Nadu’s Dravidian parties spar over pandemic relief

Covid duty—Chennai is a pandemic hot zone, with cases spiking out of control
Photograph by PTI
Chancy Gambits: Chennai's Fight Against Covid-19 And Dangerous Games That Politicians Play
outlookindia.com
2020-06-20T16:19:26+05:30

The COVID-19 pandemic may have stalled the world economy and thrown millions out of employment, but politicians cannot consign their trade to a deep freeze for long. Indian politicians, bestirring themselves after a long lockdown, are back in business in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal. In Tamil Nadu, the entrenched one-upmanship between the ruling AIADMK and its rival DMK and the internal power games within the parties themselves have taken an unfortunate toll on the fight against the coronavirus.

Out to prove slippages and faults in the government’s relief measures, the DMK, at the behest of political advisor Prashant Kishor, had rolled out the ‘Let Us Unite’ programme to deliver such material directly to beneficiaries. Party president M.K. Stalin led the exercise in person, compelling other DMK leaders to follow suit by directly handing over relief. The message aimed at? The DMK was stepping up efforts since the government has “failed” in its duty to provide succour.

But the party paid a huge price when top leader and...

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