The AIADMK party, which failed to secure a majority in the Tamil Nadu polls has tweeted out a video of Amma canteen being vandalized, allegedly by the winning party DMK’s cadre in Chennai. Three men and a young boy can be seen removing banners from within and outside the canteen premises, damaging them and hurling them on the ground, in what seems to be an act of vengeance.
The AIADMK campaign too was centered around the law and order issues, high-handedness of the DMK leaders that were prevalent during the earlier DMK regimes.
“Vengeance attack by DMK men at a JJ Nagar Amma canteen in Chennai. Canteen workers hit with wooden logs,” alleges the AIADMK tweet.
சென்னை ஜெ.ஜெ.நகர் அம்மா உணவகத்தில் இருந்த ஊழியர்களை உருட்டு கட்டையால் தாக்கி திமுகவினர் கொலைவெறி தாக்குதல். pic.twitter.com/96QwTMWFOP
— AIADMK (@AIADMKOfficial) May 4, 2021
Amma canteen, locally known as ‘Amma Unavagam’ is a first-of-its-kind programme in India that provides subsidized food (South Indian vegetarian cuisine) via government-run outlets.
With meals being made available for as less as Rs 1,3 and 5, the canteen was targeted at the weaker sections of the society. The name ‘Amma’ is the moniker of J Jayalalithaa, former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu who implemented this scheme. While the government incurs losses for providing food at such high subsidies, this model has received praise and is also being replicated in other Indian states under different names.
Notably, it was just on Monday, that outgoing Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had congratulated Chief Minister-elect MK Stalin, with Stalin reciprocating by seeking Palaniswami’s cooperation and ideas. This act was seen as a new dawn in the otherwise vendetta-driven Tamil Nadu politics that prevailed during the Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi era.
On Sunday afternoon, as the trends of a DMK-win became certain, their cadre gathered in hundreds at their party headquarters in Chennai and celebrated by bursting crackers and dancing. This was all done in violation of Covid-19 norms and hardly anyone was seen wearing masks or maintaining distance, despite MK Stalin requesting his cadre to stay safe at home and watch the results day unfold on television.
The Election Commission too had banned victory rallies or celebrations and Tamil Nadu was under a strict lockdown on Sunday.
The sudden celebrations that erupted in and outside the DMK headquarters, Anna Arivalayam led to the suspension of the Police Inspector, who was in charge of that locality.