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Jayalalithaa govt’s first 100 days: Familiar populist moves but new challenges against a louder Opposition

Jayalalithaa has suspended former chief secretary K Gnanadesikan and half a dozen senior IAS officers. It is not yet clear what has soured relations between the government and the top bureaucracy.

Jayalalithaa government, tamil nadu government, Jayalalithaa regime, K Gnanadesikan,  politics, AIADMK, DMK, K Gnanadesikan suspended, TKS Elangovan, jayalalithaa govt 100 days, 100 days, amma, amma canteen, amma brand, UPA government, tn development, idnian express news, india news On completing 100 days, congratulations from minister O Panneerselvam.

Like her previous governments, J Jayalalithaa’s new regime is being lauded for its announcements of social welfare schemes and being blamed for worsening law and order. What has been different is a relatively powerful Opposition, which often clashes directly with the ruling benches.

Also, Jayalalithaa has suspended former chief secretary K Gnanadesikan and half a dozen senior IAS officers. It is not yet clear what has soured relations between the government and the top bureaucracy.

The government has struggled to handle the Opposition, with the standoff seeing a mass suspension of DMK MLAs from the assembly. Controversies have included the expulsion of AIADMK MP Sasikala Pushpa, who alleged in the Lok Sabha that Jayalalithaa had slapped her.

Senior DMK leader TKS Elangovan said the major visible change in the first 100 days was worsening law and order. “An entire year has passed without crops except for those who depend on groundwater. If you count the first 100 days, it was a period with zero governance and maximum announcements. The government seems to have no idea to deal with new challenges — whether it is law and order or questions raised by the Opposition,” he said.

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On its first day, the government ordered closure of 500 liquor shops and a two-hour curtailment in the operating hours of those allowed to run. Prohibition had been the main election theme for most parties. Unlike her first 100 days in 2011, when her party alleged the state faced apathy from the then UPA government, the current regime has seen improved Centre-state relations.

The 100 days have seen the expansion of ‘Brand Amma’ from Amma Canteen and Amma Cements to Amma Parks and Amma Gymnasiums across the state. She announced 500 parks and 500 gymnasiums in villages for children, women and senior citizens at a cost of Rs 100 crore, leading to the Opposition questioning the need for parks in villages.

Populist moves have included increasing maternity leave for government employees from six months to nine. She has announced a Rs-497-crore project to modernise leading government hospitals in Chennai and Coimbatore, apart from a Rs-131-crore project to upgrade facilities in smaller hospitals.

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Jayalalithaa, whose government has listed its achievements in 100 days, also wrote off outstanding crop loans given by cooperative banks to nearly 17 lakh farmers, and announced 100 units free power to 1.92 lakh consumers, 200 units to handloom weavers and 750 powerloom units.

First published on: 02-09-2016 at 02:09:47 am
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