Saturday, May 28, 2022
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The Squirrel Did It

'I happily pass on the title of scientific minister to my brother Senthil Balaji,' says an AIADMK ex-minister who’d once been the butt of jokes. Why? Call it Squirrel Power!

The Squirrel Did It
The Squirrel Did It

It appears that a DMK government and power cuts are inseparable. When power disruptions suddenly became more frequent across Tamil Nadu after the DMK assumed charge, the Opposi­tion immediately carped: “We said so!” The reference was to the previous DMK government’s abysmal record of power cuts during 2006-11, which the AIADMK had contrasted with its own record of outage-free ­administration for a decade.

On the back foot, ­electricity minister V. Senthil Balaji—who had defected from AIADMK to AMMK to DMK—blamed the power cuts on squirrels short-circuiting the lines by running over non-insulated transmission cables and transformers. Also, the minister attributed the blackouts to poor maintenance of lines and transformers over the past year when AIADMK was in power. But it was his reference to the cheeky squirrels (called anil in Tamil) that triggered a spate of memes and jokes on social media. One wag even made the squirrel the centre of TNEB’s logo instead of high power transmission towers, while a few others suggested he should call himself “Anil” Balaji hereafter.

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