A few days ago, the DMK government issued an order granting a special license to allow liquor service in conference halls, convention centres, marriage halls, banquet halls, sports stadiums, and household functions.
The Dravidian stock or model government led by MK Stalin was vying with Western countries to follow their culture and technological advancement by installing an automatic liquor vending machine at the busiest Koyambedu bus terminal. It allowed the selling of liquor at marriage halls and sports grounds.
For the first time, a liquor vending machine has been installed in the elite Tasmac shop located in VR mall in the Kiyabdu bus terminal. It has the facility for the consumers to choose their choice of IFML liquor in the menu-driven vending machine. Accordingly, after selecting the liquor, there would be a payment option whether the consumer opts for cash or online payment. Once the payment was made, the liquor would be dispatched in a tray (pickup port), which was installed at the bottom of the vending machine.
It has provisions to dispense cold drinks and soda also. Liquor can be selected using a touch screen and paid for using a credit or debit card. The tipplers need to avoid running around to get snacks which are available easily in nearby shops scattered in the complex. A senior official from Tasmac said that the government has plans to install liquor vending machines in other elite liquor shops depending on the response from the customer. It is a common sight to find people who drink or overdose in full booze without being conscious, sleeping on the roads, in public places, and particularly in the bus terminal. It is a daily ugly scene one has to endure while going out of or coming to Chennai. There is the allegation that unlicensed bars are functioning 24 hours without following the timings prescribed. The Tasmac staff, who charges more than the MRP, justified it by saying they have to give to their higher up, including the minister ( there have been videos to this effect on social media )
Another innovative feature of the Dravidian model government is to permit marriage halls; A few days ago, the DMK government issued an order granting a special license to allow liquor service in conference halls, convention centres, marriage halls, banquet halls, sports stadiums, and household functions.
The FL 12 special license would be valid for one or more days. On payment of license fees, it would be issued by the Deputy Commissioner/Assistant Commissioner (Excise) with the Collector’s approval. This permit allows guests, visitors, and participants at international or national events to possess and serve liquor. However, after facing severe backlash, the government was forced to withdraw its order allowing liquor to be served in marriage halls. The general public and the opposition parties criticized the DMK government for trying to turn everyone in Tamil Nadu into an alcoholic.
In the wake of the fiat from the public, TN Excise Minister Senthilbalaji (in-charge of liquor sales) announced that marriage halls wouldn’t be provided with a license to serve liquor. This U-Turn came after the DMK government passed a GO that allowed for serving liquor in conference halls, convention centres, marriage halls, banquet halls, sports stadiums, and household functions if they got special licenses. But the GO is yet to be amended, excluding marriage halls from the purview of selling liquor.
Finance Minister PTR Palanivel Thiagarajan stated in the Tamil Nadu budget speech that he estimates TASMAC, the Tamil Nadu Government’s liquor sales company, to earn Rs 50,000 crores in revenue for the fiscal year 2023-24, an increase of Rs 5,000 crores from the previous fiscal year. In the wake of fiats from the public and stiff opposition, more particularly from the alliance partners, the MK Stalin-led DMK Government has made a U-Turn on labour law amendments, halting implementation of recently amended labour laws that allow for 12-hour work shifts. The passage of amendments to the labour law was itself seen as a U-turn by the DMK, as they had previously opposed amending labour laws to increase working hours while being an opposition party in 2020.
On Republic Day, the Karur district administration has felicitated employees of – TASMAC – the state-run liquor corporation. A certificate saying the employees were honoured for “generating revenue for the state-owned TASMAC”, was later withdrawn following public outcry.
After assuming power in May 2021, the ruling DMK Government has never been on the back foot, as they enjoyed the support of mainstream media, and its news ensures that anti-DMK news does not appear on satellite channels. Despite the support of mainstream media, the DMK has been on the defensive for almost a month now, owing primarily to BJP Annamalai, who has been releasing files containing DMK’s first family and senior minister wealth details amassed through corrupt practices, social media, which took to the people and exposed this incompetent DMK Government. Its allies distance themselves from it by keeping their mouth shut when BJP or the media rakes up corruption.
On April 11, the Supreme Court granted permission to the RSS to take out marches in the state. The decision has come as a setback for the state government, which had initially appealed in the High Court to stop the RSS marches, and the High Court had also given the decision in favour of the RSS. It was a big blow for the ruling DMK and its allies.
The alleged audio clips of Finance Minister PTR Palanivel Thiagarajan surfaced in social media in which he accuses members of MK Stalin’s family of making more money in one year than they’ve made during their lifetime. PTR was heard saying that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin’s son Udhayanithi and son-in-law Sabareesan amassed Rs 30,000 crores in a year. The Income Tax Department has been raiding real estate company G-Square since Monday (24th), which allegedly has close links to the DMK’s first family.
These are giving sleepless nights to the debt-trapped DMK Government, which finds it difficult to fulfil the over 500 promises it had made before the state assembly elections. With the Lok Sabha nearing, it wants to hoodwink the people to vote for them again. It now fully banks on the votes of minorities, and with this in mind, it has been rolling out a slew of measures to appease them.