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  India   All India  13 Dec 2016  Cyclone Vardha: Politics on hold, relief gets priority

Cyclone Vardha: Politics on hold, relief gets priority

THE ASIAN AGE. | N RAVIKUMAR
Published : Dec 13, 2016, 3:39 am IST
Updated : Dec 13, 2016, 7:09 am IST

AIADMK, DMK defer plans for organisational revamp.

Uprooted trees block a road following cyclone Vardah in Chennai on Monday. (Photo: E.K. Sanjay)
 Uprooted trees block a road following cyclone Vardah in Chennai on Monday. (Photo: E.K. Sanjay)

Chennai: At a time when both the ruling AIADMK and Opposition DMK are bracing up for major changes in the leadership, cyclone Vardha, which has touched ground in Chennai, has also put a brake on all political activities, shifting the leaders’ attention quickly towards monsoon-related issues.

The AIADMK, which had begun making preparations for the elevation of former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa’s close aide V.K. Sasikala as the party’s new general secretary, besides giving key posts to other senior leaders, restrained itself on Monday in the wake of the cyclone, which is fast emerging into a “cyclonic storm”, having claimed four lives and prompting the government to issue red alert.

Leaders of the ruling party have since turned their focus on precautionary measures and gearing up for relief efforts. The ministers, including chief minister O. Panneerselvam and revenue minister R.B. Udhayakumar, sent out a series of statements outlining government initiatives to protect the people, especially those living in low-lying areas.

The DMK, which had earlier announced that its general council meeting would be held on December 20, has commenced the negotiation for the elevation of party treasurer to the position of working president. On Monday, though, the cyclone deprived the party leaders from taking any major move in this regard. Stalin himself issued a statement asking people to follow the precautions suggested by the government and safeguard themselves.

Stalin said since strong winds were blowing along with heavy rain, people’s first priority should be safety. He advised the public against going out of their homes.

The Opposition parties also plan to soon assess the damage caused by the storm and then put forth their demands before the government.

Tags: cyclone vardha, j jayalalithaa, aiadmk
Location: India, Tamil Nadu, Chennai (Madras)