This is the first part of the series on #DravidianDisaster – 2021 DMK government. This series is necessitated, as things have started unwinding and getting out of hand for MK.Stalin, his party and the government. In the interest and welfare of the state and its people, it is the duty of this author to shed light on the dark sides of this government and sound an alert to the higher echelons of power.
This government may make a course correction or perish. The writing on the wall is glaring.
It has been one year and 3 months since MK Stalin assumed charge as Chief Minister of the state. The popularity of this government has hit an abyss. Problems that plague this government are aplenty. No one seems to be in control. No decision is taken on crucial issues and to put it simply, none in this government seem to know what governance is. All that this government does is publicise its non-existent achievements. The government is neither able to counter its enemies, add new friends or earn the goodwill of the people. What is happening in this government perplexes people. But, people at the helm of affairs appear to be in a blissful utopia unaware of the dangers that are lurking.
Stalin has experience as an MLA, a Mayor of Chennai, a Minister for Local Administration, and a Deputy Chief Minister. He grew up in the shadows of his father who is considered to be the doyen of Dravidian politics and a living Machiavelli. Stalin is 69 now. Till a few years back, Stalin was not required to take any independent decisions as he was never allowed to by his father. And Stalin too was very comfortable with this arrangement.
The new role thrust on him is taking its toll and Stalin is unable to cope with the challenges. Power is a crown of thorns. Playing the role of the opposition is not difficult for any politician. Responsibility as an opposition leader doesn’t burden a politician much. An opposition leader can throw any wild charges and get away. Apart from the occasional statements, questions, and agitations, an opposition leader need not sweat more. Take the case of former CM Edappadi Palanisamy. Apart from occasional tweets, is he doing anything as the principal opposition leader? Nothing.
But a CM’s job is a different ball game. A CM may not have a rest of not more than a few hours in a day. The entire state awaits his words. The entire bureaucracy awaits his word. The entire business community awaits his decision. The entire police force awaits his guidance. The political party he presides, await his ideas. The entire media is waiting for him to slip. Entire opposition parties await his mistake. He is the cynosure of all eyes. He is the centre of attraction.
But, unfortunately, DMK President and TN Chief Minister MK Stalin is unable to rise up to the occasion and has failed on most counts. He is reluctant to crack the whip and handle crisis. Unfortunately though, there is not even one officer or DMK leader who firefights on his or party’s behalf. The result is chaos.
A senior DMK leader privy to all the developments spoke to us on condition of anonymity as to what is plaguing the party.
“Stalin is unable to handle the party as a ruling party Chief. Handling the party as an opposition is different, and handling the party as a ruler is different. When in power, all Tom, Dick and Harry, hitherto unknown will claim to be of the ruling party and try to make money and flex muscle. Such newbies who may or may not be close to the power centres, will ruffle feathers and are bound to create conflict. A leader should strike a balance and ward off power mongers and keep a check on such elements.
Stalin is not even aware of what is ailing his party. He has no touch with the party and even senior party leaders are unable to communicate freely with him. His moody nature, his indifference to the plight of partymen, and the ground reality will prove him costly in 2024 polls. None of the partymen is happy.
They all had waited for 10 years to make some money. Local heavyweights were eyeing for TASMAC Bar contract and other small contracts. In Stalin’s government, all small contracts including TASMAC Bar contract is centralised and Minister Senthil Balaji is calling the shots from the top. None of the local party people is running the bars which is not only a source of income but also a prestige”
On verification, this piece of information was found to be more than true. Senthil Balaji is perceived as a Minister who is making the maximum money for the family. Senthil Balaji’s words are writ and none dares to question him. Senthil Balaji controls the Energy Department and TASMAC with an iron hand.
On 23 May 2022, a 23 year old techie was killed due to excessive alcohol and drugs. This happened in a party at VR Mall Chennai. TN Excise department, which raided the premises sealed two bars. Within a week, the Excise department de-sealed the bars much to the surprise of many.
Please read an exclusive on this incident Link. Now it appears that, not only Senthil Balaji de-sealed the illegal Bar, but also gave license for 5 new Bars to the same VR Mall, according to an information collected under RTI.
Such actions of Senthil Balaji is likely to give a bad name to the government, but Stalin is unaware about such developments.
An IAS officer too spoke about what is ailing the administration. “TN bureaucracy is never a divided house like this. A few select beauracrats are calling the shots. The entire IAS clan in Tamil Nadu is vertically split into two. One is Udhayachandran team and the other is anti-Udhayachandran team.
It is true that Udhayachandran is completely trusted by the CM. So whoever close to him are enjoying unbridled powers and those who belong to the other camp are shunted around.
Even Ministers are afraid to speak to Udhayachandran, as he is seen as the person who takes decisions ‘on behalf of CM’. He even interferes in DMK’s party affairs much to the chagrin of senior leaders.
A senior DMK leader and Minister, had reportedly remarked, ‘It is better to allot a room for Udhayachandran in Arivalayam. Better he run the party and fight 2024 elections’. Such is the opinion on CM Secretary I Udhayachandran.
Udhayachandran is accused of imposing his whims on the administration and patronising undeserving characters. To cite an example, Dr. Jayaseelan, IAS, who is heading the DIPR department is considered to be thoroughly ineffective. Had he been effective much of the ignominy this government is facing could have been averted is the unanimous opinion of several officers. Not only that, Dinamalar daily published a detailed piece about the corruption involved in the award of tenders in the advertisement of the Chess Olympiad. On enquiries, it was found that the entire news item is true.
So far, no action has been taken against Jayaseelan, not even transfer. Courtesy : Udhayachandran. Jayaseelan overcame the Dinamalar news item by giving a lame reason that Dinamalar grinds an axe against him as he has not given advertisements to the daily. This was endorsed by Udhayachandran and that is it. Udhayachandran wants to send out Jayaseelan only as a District Magistrate, add sources.
Not only that. The other secretaries in CM also throw around their weight according to senior DMK leaders.
Whenever the DMK is in power, hundreds of DMK colour dhot clad men roaming around Secretariat before various Secretaries’ and Ministers offices. Now the buzz is missing. The reason, the powerful beauracrats whom the partymen believe controls the Chief Minister.
The incorrigible First Family
The family politics and unbridled abuse of power by Karunanidhi’s family was one of the important reasons for DMK not able to come back to power for 10 years. But the family doesn’t appear to have learnt any lessons from their past mistakes.
The corruption of the family has reached humongous heights. Unlike in 2006, this time, the first family alone wields power and not the extended family of Stalin’s siblings.
The collection is handled mostly by Sabareesan through his lieutenants London Venkat, Anna Nagar Karthik, Amana Khan, Praveen Ganesh, Auditor Shanmugaraj, Arjun (son-in-law of Lottery Martin), Kalaignar TV Karthick. Auditor Shanmugaraj has an office near Thirumangalam in Anna Nagar and most of the deals are entered into here. The other collection agents have different offices at different places. Invariably more than a half a dozen counting machines are present there.
To take an example, the entire Transport department is under the control of London Venkat. The transfer rate for a post of Motor Vehicle Inspector is anywhere between 60 to 80 lakhs. One Veera Vishwamithran @ Viswa is the lieutenant of London Venkat who personally handles the collections. The reason why Raja Kannappan was stripped of Transport portfolio is that he demanded more than the 20% allowed to Ministers as their share. 80% of the collection is taken away by the family under the guise of ‘party fund’. London Venkat did not reply to the queries in this regard through WhatsApp.
Even Jayalalitha adopted this model, but she ensured all expenses for elections are met by the party. The entire DMK party knows that not a penny will come out of Stalin’s family coffers and they have to foot the bill for elections. This is an added reason for the huge disgruntlement prevailing in the party.
Coming back to Veera Vishwamithran, he was an accused in a Central Crime Branch case of forging mark sheets in Anna University. To understand the clout he wielded over Anna University, read this piece in Deccan Chronicle.
This Vishwa, is now virtually controlling the Transport Department. Apart from Transport, Pollution Control Board, and a few other departments’s collection are directly handled by Sabareesan. Minister EV Velu, who used to be the financier for Stalin’s house hold expenses handles a few departments.
Off late, Durga Stalin, who is popularly known as Anniyar also handles a few departments.
Senthamarai, daughter of MK Stalin is on an acquisition spree. She has acquired a school along with property under litigation in Pallavaram recently and started the following firms after DMK coming to power.
1) Sesak Realtors Private Limited
2) Rays Sunshine Estates Private Limited
3) Rays Sunshine Edutech Services LLP
4) Tracker Wave Private Limited
5) Sunshine Welfare Foundation.
All these firms are suspected to be to launder money.
Anniyar too has become an entrepreneur. Stalin family had purchased around 100 acres in Ulundhai Village, Tiruvallur District and a mineral water firm in 2012. This is used as a retreat by the family.
This firm, DS Minerals, produces the mineral water brand ‘Springs’. This brand of mineral water is forced on all government departments, TASMAC outlets, TTDC hotels and what not. This blatant abuse of power by the wife of Chief Minister is glossed over by everyone.
Regarding the son. The less said the better. At 45, Udhayanidhi Stalin still considers himself as a playboy of Kollywood. He wants to be the distributor of all the Tamil Movies that come out. He wants to be associated with all major cinema events. He wants to play, party and make fun and also wants to be the Chief Minister. His close coterie Ratheesh, Sujai, Anbil Magesh and a few others act as facilitators.
These spoilt brats think that the entire state of Tamil Nadu is owned by them and that the people do not have any alternative. Udhayanidhi Stalin is a kid born with silver spoon and this factor seriously affects his IQ. He feels he is privileged and reminds of Stalin in the seventies says a senior journalist.
The strength of Stalin is patience. He waited patiently till the crown came to him. But the scion is in a hurry. He wants the state, no matter what.
The TN police administration is at its lowest ebb. The force has never seen such a pathetic situation of its discipline and a break in the chain of command ever. Not even in the early nineties of Jaya. Then, there was a method in the madness. Today it is free for all.
Due to his wrong choices, the state Intelligence wing is a total mess. The Intelligence which should preempt situations and alert and guide the government is searching for elephant in the room. The top man Davidson Devasirvatham has tied himself in knots and knots that the untangling effort has consumed him. Senthilvelan is a newbie and has yet to understand the dynamics of state politics.
More about the mismanagement of intelligence wing in the coming days.
Now the question that lingers on everyone’s mind is what is CM doing ?
MK Stalin, who is not in his best health, is a poor man. He is neither able to control the administration or his family or his party or his whims. He is almost addicted to photoshoots and gets incensed when a problem is presented to him. He wants to see only a rosy picture that all is well in his administration.
He doesn’t want to hear any problems or troubleshoot one. That includes his party issues. We can see his face glow, whenever we give him news about the public showering encomiums on him. He relishes only this type of information. He refuses to see that ‘the emperor is naked’ rued an officer.
One Dinesh, who is the unofficial PA is calling the shots and sources say, he takes the decision on Stalin’s behalf – with the knowledge of Stalin – on party affairs. He has started issuing instrutions to IAS officers without the approval of Stalin, according to highly placed sources.
Apart from these, the state is facing several internal security threats, that will cost Stalin his government and also the party. More on it in the coming days.
MK Stalin may well be writing the last days of the dravidian politics due to his lackadaisical approach and lack of understanding of the job he is handling, ably aided by the clowns around him. Days are not far when a strong party like the DMK is facing an insurmountable crisis. And the party may split wide open.
To be continued.