SALEM: Seeking to play down expelled general secretary VK Sasikala's purported interaction with party workers, AIADMK co-coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami on Wednesday said her telephonic conversations will not impact the 1.5 crore cadre based organisation a wee bit.
Making it clear she is no longer with the AIADMK since her expulsion in 2017, the former chief minister said there has been an "overreaction" to her speaking to a few party members.
"She is not with the AIADMK and has no contact with the party. Not just 10, let her interact with 1,000 persons, the 1.5 crore cadre strong AIADMK will not be affected," he told reporters in Omalur here when asked about the leak of audio tapes of Sasikala's conversation with some AIADMK functionaries recently.
Post the AIADMK's poll defeat, audio tapes have been surfacing in the social media and in one of them Sasikala was heard saying she would reclaim the party. She had also censured the AIADMK leadership's decision to expel the members who spoke to her. "Its all the making of the media," Palaniwsami said and added when there were several issues like vaccine shortage concerning the people, the media chose to make this a big issue.
Charging the ruling DMK with causing a COVID vaccine shortage in the state, Palaniswami said people would not have returned home dejected had the government either issued tokens for inoculation or announced a specific number to cover the target population on a given day.
"Instead, it launched a vaccination drive without taking into account the quantity of doses or the population. So, people thronged the vaccination centres in thousands leading to the shortage of the shots," he said.
There were several serious issues such as the rising cost of construction material, fuel prices and NEET, afflicting the people. "The DMK made about 505 assurances in the run up to the assembly election including reducing the prices of petrol and diesel by Rs five and Rs four, respectively per litre, but have not implemented any of them. It came to power on false promises," the former chief minister alleged.
Palaniswami demanded that the state government clear the confusion in the minds of students and parents on whether the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) will be conducted or not. "The constitution of the AK Rajan committee to study the impact of NEET on government students is an eyewash as everyone knows that Tamil Nadu is forced to conduct the test due to the Supreme Court order," he said.
The DMK had made a false promise on cancelling the exam only to capture power. But after coming to power, it had formed a committee, he added.
He also took a dig at electricity minister V Senthil Balaji for claiming that Tamil Nadu faced frequent power outages due to squirrels running on power lines, saying "squirrels can climb one line but not throughout the state.