COVID-19 guidelines were flouted at an AIADMK membership drive, held at a packed wedding hall in Dharmapuri on Saturday. The event was presided over by Higher Education Minister K.P. Anbalagan. Ironically, only last week, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami had visited the district to take stock of containment measures.
There was hardly any distancing on the dais and the hall, where scores of cadre and leaders were present. Dozens of party functionaries were seated in close proximity on the dais, in the presence of Mr. Anbalagan, and many of them were not wearing masks or were seen not wearing them properly.
The event was organised by the AIADMK’s Illagnar and Illam Pengal Paasarai. While COVID-19 guidelines do not permit any political, religious or cultural gatherings, many attendees were seen seated on the floor as well. None of them were subjected to thermal scanning or vetted for masks. The district is seeing a spike in cases and a ban on the use of wedding halls continues.
However, it is unclear how permission was granted for the event. The Hindu messaged Collector S. Malarvizhi, asking her about the violation, but she did not respond till late Saturday. Attempts to contact Mr. Anbalagan, who recently recovered from COVID-19, failed.
Last week, during the CM’s event, DMK MP for Dharmapuri, Senthil Kumar, was denied permission to submit a petition, and was told that he had to take a COVID-19 test.