Renewed hope, lot of success, odd blemish characterise Dravidian Model govt

Impressively, the momentum created by Rs 4,000 cash relief for COVID in the early days of the government was sustained by the free medical treatment for accident victims for first 48 hours, drug delivery at the doorstep and successful vaccine programmes.
Renewed hope, lot of success, odd blemish characterise Dravidian Model govt
Chief Minister M.K. StalinPTI

CHENNAI: Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin’s maiden year in office as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has been characterised by hope, lot of success and odd blemish. Taking over the reins of the state amid a raging pandemic and daunting debt, Stalin has managed to restore public confidence and put the state on the path of growth.

From being restrained by a domineering Centre, which had imposed its will on the state with impunity over a year ago, an assertive Stalin had dared the ‘Union’ with calculated bravado. Be it the delayed release of GST compensation-cum-demand for reform in the GST council or forwarding the NEET Exemption Bill for the President’s approval or opposing Hindi imposition and National Education Policy or even fighting for reservation, Stalin has convincingly silenced and impressed his critics, who once questioned his caliber in comparison with his deceased ‘statesman’ father M Karunanidhi.

Stalin, in fact, did not just assert his position on the NEET imbroglio that prompted the people to see in his regime a government that trembled indignation against the usurping of its rights, he had also forced the Narendra Modi regime to accede the demand for providing 27 per cent reservation for OBCs in medical education under All India Quota and 50 per cent quota for in-service doctors in super-specialty and that too with the Supreme Court’s dictum.

In re-adopting the NEET Exemption Bill and floating a pan-Indian Social Justice Movement and appointing archakas of all castes even while demanding the recall of the incumbent Governor, he struck a delicate balance between politics and the Dravidian model of administration.

Headed by an investment banker turned Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan, the government had managed to scale down its fiscal deficit from 4.61 per cent to 3.8 per cent between the revised and full-fledged budget even while reducing Aavin milk price, cutting VAT on petrol and introducing a host of schemes like free bus travel for women and transforming marriage assistance into education assurance scheme.

The extension of his government’s success beyond the implementation of subsidised schemes was evident in the conception of the visionary “Illam Thedi Kalvi” scheme, an idea understood to have been inspired by the think tank of Nobel-winning global experts in the CM’s Economic Advisory Council. Complementing the schemes was a muscular push to woo investments, which was deftly handled by an informed Industries Minister Thangam Thennarasu who utilised the political stability and administrative skill to impress cash-rich investors from afar in the short span.

Impressively, the momentum created by Rs 4,000 cash relief for COVID in the early days of the government was sustained by the free medical treatment for accident victims for first 48 hours, drug delivery at the doorstep and successful vaccine programmes.

However, the colorful canvas of success was impaired by odd blemishes like the rampant power cut in the districts and an alleged custodial death close to the first anniversary of the government.

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