Tamil Nadu

BJP Corners Stalin On Drug Menace Narrative

S Rajesh

Mar 02, 2024, 11:17 AM | Updated 11:17 AM IST

K Annamalai and M K Stalin (Swarajya Illustration)
K Annamalai and M K Stalin (Swarajya Illustration)

After the arrest of a few members of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) functionary Jaffar Sadiq's drug cartel, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has gone on the offensive against the M K Stalin-led government regarding the drug menace in Tamil Nadu.

While the party has been alleging an increase in drug use in the state under the DMK regime over the past couple of years, Sadiq's arrest has come as a shot in the arm for the BJP.

Seeking to drive home the message that he enjoyed proximity with the DMK first family, the party has widely circulated pictures of Sadiq with the Chief Minister, Udhayanidhi Stalin, and other leaders like M M Abdulla, a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha, on social media.

They have also come up with the phrase "Drug Mafia Kazhagam" as a twist on the DMK full form.

K Annamalai, the Tamil Nadu BJP state president, said in a video that the issue has gone out of the hands of the DMK because they are closely linked to the cartel.

He added that, as a result, the people of the state should take it upon themselves to fight the battle against drugs through steps like awareness programmes, making children take an oath against drugs, and installing complaint boxes and special cells in colleges.

Further, he said there should be increased monitoring of places and people who could be peddling drugs, such as those running petty shops near colleges.

He also wrote that Chief Minister Stalin, who had promised to seize the properties of drug peddlers, had failed to do so.

The party has, thus, successfully put the ball in the DMK's court, and it is now up to the latter to defend itself.

Unfortunately for the DMK, Sadiq was too well-connected (not just in politics but also the cinema industry) for them to be able to play the issue down by expelling him from the party. He is still at large.

While it is not known how many other party men or big leaders were involved, the BJP's actions have definitely pushed Chief Minister Stalin into a corner, as this is not the first time people connected to the DMK have been caught involved in supplying drugs.

In November 2022, Sarbraz Nawaz, a DMK councillor in the Keezhakarai Municipality, and his brother Jainuddin, a former councillor, were arrested by the naval police after the seizure of cocaine worth Rs 360 crore in their possession. They had allegedly planned to smuggle it to Sri Lanka via a fishing boat.

In the present case, Chief Minister Stalin has still not spoken on the issue, and that has made the narrative of DMK leaders being in cahoots with drug cartels stick all the more, similar to what has happened on the issue of corruption after multiple ministers came under the dock.

S Rajesh is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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