Following allegations of Tamil Nadu’s western belt being ignored by the ruling DMK, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister who is touring the region is facing the wrath of angry netizens and political opponents on Twitter.
The Western belt which is locally known as the ‘Kongu Belt’ is an AIADMK stronghold and largely voted against the ruling DMK. Coimbatore, the second-largest city in Tamil Nadu and an industrial hub is situated in the Kongu belt region.
However, this region is said to have been allocated far less vaccines than Chennai. Coimbatore is also now the city with maximum Covid-19 cases in Tamil Nadu.
Leaders from the opposition parties BJP and AIADMK have been pointing out the high number of deaths and spike in cases in Coimbatore, when compared to Chennai, which is now seeing a daily decline in Covid-19 numbers.
In a clip of a Tamil TV debate, a DMK spokesperson was seen telling a BJP spokesperson that “if people of Coimbatore are struggling and crying in pain, they must do so before Modi. If they are crying in pain, then WhatsApp it to Modi.”
Notably, Coimbatore South is an important Assembly Constituency that elected BJP Women’s wing President Vanathi Srinivasan.
The hashtag #GoBackStalin has been trending with over 1.5 lakh tweets and is perhaps the first time that a Tamil Nadu Chief Minister is facing this trend when touring a district of his home state.
DMK sympathizers also countered the trend by using hashtags #Welcome_TNCM_Stalin, #WelcomeStalin and also by sharing videos of the Chief Minister wearing a PPE Suit, during a hospital inspection in Coimbatore on Sunday.
In October 2020, as Leader of Opposition Stalin had paid homage to freedom fighter and spiritual leader Muthuramaliga Thevar’s memorial in Ramanathapuram. Back then too, #GoBackStalin trended on Twitter. Many from the AIADMK and BJP had lashed out at the DMK saying that they had nothing to do with Thevar’s ideals of nationalism and spiritualism.
In the past, top BJP leaders visiting Tamil Nadu were the ones to be at the receiving end of such hashtags trended by the DMK and its allies. Such #GoBack hashtags had come up when Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah had visited the southern state on different occasions. On a certain occasion, the DMK cadre had also released black-colored hydrogen balloons, as a mark of protest, at a time when the Prime Minister’s chopper was to fly by the area.
Currently, Tamil Nadu is reporting nearly 31,000 Covid-19 cases every day, whereas the daily recoveries are around 30,000. The southern state is recording the maximum Covid-19 cases in India. Daily deaths being reported are over 450 for the past few days and over 23,000 persons have lost their lives to the pandemic.
Active cases in the state are over 3.10lakh. While the cases in capital city Chennai has come down from nearly 7,000 to 2,500, is it the second-largest district Coimbatore that is seeing a spike. Coimbatore, the Western district is now witnessing over 4,700 daily cases.