Tamil Nadu Chief Minister-designate MK Stalin faced embarrassing moments on Tuesday when 2 DMK cadres with their supporters vandalised an Amma Unavagam outlet. The Amma Unavagam (canteen) was established by ex-CM J Jayalalithaa to sell food at affordable rates such as Rs1 per idli and Rs5 per plate of sambar rice.
On Tuesday morning, the DMK cadres entered an Amma Unavagam outlet in Mogappair in Chennai and broke the signboards, having the images of Jayalalithaa, who was called ‘Amma’ by her supporters. They also ransacked the premises.
As a video of the incident went viral, Stalin stepped in to expel the cadres from the party. They were later arrested.
Stalin directed the signboard be reinstalled. Following this, party Saidapet MLA Ma Subramanian tweeted a video of partymen trying to fix the signboard with Jayalalithaa’s image.
Incidentally, ex-DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi had in the run-up to the 2016 Assembly election announced if his party was voted to power, it would rename the outlets as ‘Anna Unavagam’ in memory of late CM and DMK founder CN Annadurai.
The vandalisation of the Amma Unavagam drew widespread criticisms from civil society as well. Even DMK leaders did not approve of it. “As it is the AIADMK and BJP’s central campaigning point against us was the DMK was a party of ruffians. This incident unnecessarily lent credence to such charges. It is good that our leader expelled those involved in the incident,” said a DMK leader.