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Tamil Nadu hooch tragedy:

Image Source: India Today

The tragic events surrounding the Kallakurichi hooch incident have sparked a fierce political confrontation between the DMK and BJP in Tamil Nadu. The DMK has accused the BJP, particularly through its leadership in Puducherry, of culpability in the deaths caused by the consumption of illicit liquor laced with methanol. The DMK’s Organisational Secretary RS Bharathi explicitly blamed K Annamalai, the BJP’s Tamil Nadu president, alleging a deliberate plot. This accusation is heightened by the timing, with Bharathi suggesting electoral motives behind the incident, linking it to past political maneuvers.

Annamalai, in turn, criticized Chief Minister MK Stalin, calling for introspection and even resignation in light of the tragedy. This exchange of accusations underscores the volatile political climate and the severe consequences of the hooch tragedy, which claimed the lives of over 50 individuals and left many more critically ill.

The DMK’s response, as articulated by Bharathi, is not just an indictment of Annamalai but also a broader critique of BJP’s governance, pointing to previous incidents where accountability was questioned but not upheld at the highest levels of the BJP. Bharathi’s rhetorical questions about resignations following other tragedies serve to highlight what he perceives as a double standard in political accountability.

The incident itself paints a grim picture of the consequences of consuming illicit liquor, affecting mostly marginalized communities such as daily wage laborers. Symptoms reported—diarrhoea, vomiting, and eye irritation—are consistent with methanol poisoning, indicating severe lapses in regulatory oversight and law enforcement.

As legal proceedings progress with arrests made in connection to the sale of the illicit liquor, the fallout is not just a matter of criminal justice but also a pivotal issue in Tamil Nadu’s political landscape. The calls for resignation and accountability resonate deeply, reflecting broader public sentiment and demands for justice amid tragic loss.

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