DMK President MK Stalin on Thursday took exception to Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami blaming Koyambedu vegetable market vendors for the spread of coronavirus and claimed 'administrative lapses' on the part of the government led to the situation.
On Wednesday, Palaniswami had blamed the reluctance of the vegetable vendors of the sprawling market in Chennai to move out as a major reason for the spread of COVID-19 in the state, saying despite several pleas since March they were adamant on staying put there citing losses that would be incurred by them.
"Now, because many from Koyambedu had travelled to other districts, the number of infected there has gone up. This is the reason for the spike in cases in Chennai also," he had said as the market emerged as a major cluster in recent days.
The total positive cases in the state stood at 9,227 including 64 deaths, as on Wednesday.
Hitting out at the Chief Minister for the remarks, Stalin asked him not to blame people and others for the government's 'administrative lapses'.
He said the lockdown effected by the state government in March was done in 'haste,' and charged it with not working out an effective implementation strategy for the Koyambedu market as well as other places thronged by vendors and the public.
"... the administrative lapse of the AIADMK government is the basic reason for the spread of the pandemic," Stalin, who is the Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, said.
He also termed as 'confusing' remarks of the Chief Minister that the pandemic will increase slightly before going on a decline, saying the latter had earlier said the state will be free of coronavirus soon.
"He does not seem to factor in the pubic impact of his announcements on coronavirus," Stalin said.
With the lockdown crossing 50 days, many sections have been suffering, some with no money to spend. Therefore, the government should provide a relief of Rs 5,000 assitance to the people, the DMK chief said, reiterating his earlier demand.