Meet Tamil Nadu’s oxygen demand first, Stalin urges the Prime Minister

DMK president M.K. Stalin on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that the oxygen produced by the Sterlite Copper smelting factory in Thoothukudi was supplied to Tamil Nadu to fully meet the State’s requirements to treat COVID-19 patients.

In a statement in Chennai, he said since the Supreme Court had given the Centre the responsibility of sharing oxygen, Mr. Modi should pay attention to the issue and ensure Tamil Nadu’s needs were fulfilled. “The Prime Minister’s office should issue guidelines to the officials of the ‘caretaker government’ [in Tamil Nadu]. No injustice should be caused to the State at the time of pandemic,” he said.

Mr. Stalin said the demand for oxygen would increase as Chennai and other areas were recording more and more COVID-19 cases. “Other states should be given oxygen only after Tamil Nadu’s requirement is met,” he said.

The DMK leader alleged that the Supreme Court had handed over the responsibility to the Centre because the State government had failed to argue before the court the decision taken in the all-party meeting.

Mr. Stalin said the factory had been allowed to function only to manufacture oxygen and not for any other purpose. “Once the DMK is elected to power, the factory will be sealed after the period of temporary operation [to produce oxygen] is over,” he said.

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