The State government’s decision to provide a one-time financial assistance of Rs 2,000 to families below the poverty line ahead of the Lok Sabha polls has invited mixed responses, with the Opposition crying foul.
“The AIADMK is using the State’s money for its political advantage. After sleeping for about three months, the AIADMK has now woken up to the plight of Cyclone Gaja victims,” opined DMK legislator M Subramanian.
He said the financial assistance was a poll-gimmick aimed at vote bank politics. “This will not reduce the anti-incumbency faced by the ruling party. In my opinion, the AIADMK is encouraging cash for votes by draining government money. At the same time, the property tax, water tax and toll fees have been hiked so high thereby affecting the public,” Subramanian said.
According to him, public money should be used for public-friendly schemes. “Due to its administrative failure and poor governance, the State government is now engaging in politics that defeats democracy,” the former Chennai Mayor alleged.
The state has admitted that the debts have mounted to an all-time high of Rs 4 lakh crore and this will add more tension to the state exchequer and to the taxpayers.
Apart from the DMK, the AMMK has also criticised the government’s move. “If AIADMK leaders are going to spend their own funds, there is no issue. Public money should not be misused at the time of polls,” fumed Sukumar Babu, AMMK’s organising secretary. “Furthermore, I suspect that this would lead to misappropriation of funds. The State must be careful while distributing cash,” said Babu.
According to political commentator A Karl Marx, “This move belittles the public. There is no difference between cash for a vote and this financial assistance scheme.”
“If the math is worked out, each person will be paid Rs 5.40 per day. Is this how the government ensures development and minimum income for the people?”wondered Marx.
“Both the Centre and the State, which have failed on long-term development plans and job generation, have now started luring public by titbits,” the political commentator added.