Chennai: R K Nagar legislator and Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam leader T. T. V. Dhinakaran made a vain bid in the Assembly on Friday to pin down the ruling AIADMK on a charge of going back on its electoral assurance on total prohibition by attempting to open 810 TASMAC shops in TN. He later walked out from the Assembly following a verbal duel with Electricity, Prohibition and Excise Minister P. Thangamani on the issue.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Mr. Dhinakaran, elected as an Independent from city’s R. K. Nagar Assembly constituency, sought to know why the government, which announced to wind up the state-owned TASMAC liquor shops as part of its total prohibition policy, issued orders to open 810 outlets in urban areas. “Is this fair? Yesterday the Minister had called me liquor baron,” Mr. Dhinakaran said.
Speaker P. Dhanapal insisted that Mr. Thangamani had not mentioned his name. Responding, Mr. Thangamani, dared him to close down the distilleries owned by his family members. “When Amma came to power she had closed down 500 shops and after he took the reins the Chief Minister (Edappadi K. Palaniswami) ordered the closure of another 500 outlets besides reducing the working hours of TASMAC shops by two hours,” Mr. Thangamani said.
Of the 6,715 shops, only 3,866 are functioning now and the 810 shops in question were closed on court’s order, the Minister said and added “nearly 25 per cent of the distilleries are owned by your family.”
When Mr. Dhinakaran, attempted to reply, the Speaker dissuaded and following this, he staged a walk out.
Later, speaking to reporters outside the Assembly, Mr. Dhinakaran who refuted the Minister’s charge, asked, “the Minister claims that my family has stakes in breweries. What has prevented him from taking action?”...