Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Drug Bust: Defamation Case Against Annamalai, EPS Will Only Spell More Trouble For DMK And Stalin

S Rajesh

Mar 15, 2024, 04:25 PM | Updated Mar 16, 2024, 12:43 PM IST

M K Stalin, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
M K Stalin, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
  • The DMK has already lost the narrative on the issue and pictures of Sadiq with top DMK leaders have made it difficult for the party to disassociate itself from him.
  • The Tamil Nadu government on 14 March filed a criminal defamation case against BJP state president K Annamalai and AIADMK general secretary Edappadi Palaniswami (EPS) for allegedly making statements that linked Chief Minister M K Stalin to the drug cartel of Jaffer Sadiq.

    Sadiq, who was an officebearer in the NRI wing of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), has now been expelled from the party.

    While Chief Minister Stalin is within his rights to file such a case if he feels aggrieved by such statements, here is why this step is unlikely to help him:

    The defamation case comes weeks after the issue has been widely discussed in the media and the opposition has taken the issue to the grassroots.

    Annamalai released a video in which he stated that the people would have to tackle the issue on their own as the DMK government could not be relied upon.

    Among the measures he had suggested were increased monitoring of petty shops near colleges, where the likelihood of sale of drugs is high, having special cells, complaint boxes and organising awareness programmes.

    Both the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have organised protests over the issue.

    The BJP has announced that it would conduct booth committee meetings at 50,000 locations across the state on 16 March, to spread awareness among the public.

    The DMK has already lost the narrative on the issue and pictures of Sadiq with top DMK leaders, which have gone viral on social media, have made it difficult for the party to disassociate itself from him.

    The opposition has come up with phrases like "Drug Mafia Kazhagam" and "Drugs Marketing Kazhagam" and is using it widely on social media.

    Further, Chief Minister Stalin was seen to be missing in action in the days following the emergence of details of activities undertaken by Sadiq's cartel.

    The network had allegedly sent 3,500 kilograms of pseudoephedrine to countries like Australia and New Zealand in the past few years.

    The absence of any strong statements to assure the public that his government would take action against them, has gone against him.

    Even if the court issues an injunction to Annamalai and EPS restraining them, the damage is already done as nothing can stop the conversation on social media and elsewhere.

    Further, with the matter now in the court, both sides would be asked to come up with evidence in their favour, in which case, Annamalai and EPS are likely to come up with even more details that could potentially link Chief Minister Stalin or his family members.

    Already, Sadiq has reportedly stated to Narcotics Control Bureau officials that he had given Rs 7 lakh to Udhayanidhi Stalin, the powerful son of the Chief Minister.

    Thus, the case could possibly create further trouble for Chief Minister Stalin — unlike what he might have intended.

    Also Read: TN Drug Bust: Echoes Of Gutkha Scandal Are Haunting The DMK

    S Rajesh is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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