Chennai: Netizens are having a field day, thanks to Tamil Nadu Electricity Minister Senthil Balaji’s comments on squirrels who he said were running on overhead power lines thereby causing disruptions in service.
The clip of the comments made by DMK’s Karur MLA has been going viral on social media and instant messaging platforms. The Tamil equivalent of “Squirrels are the reason” is trending nationwide with over 12,000 tweets on Wednesday (June 23).
There have been reports of increased power cuts across the state since the new DMK regime came to power. Addressing the media regarding this issue, the minister replied that when tree branches come in contact with power lines, squirrels running on them led to two wires coming into contact, thus causing power outages.
Later, speaking at the assembly, the minister said that the previous AIADMK government had not carried out maintenance work for Electricity Board. He added that there would be no power cuts after the maintenance works were carried out.
However, the AIADMK has maintained that Tamil Nadu was a power surplus state during its rule, handled peak power demand efficiently and that there were hardly any power cuts.
Opposition politicians and netizens have been trolling the ruling party for the minister’s comments and asking if squirrels ran underground and whether the population of squirrels had increased after the new government took over.
Many are comparing the minister's comments to an instance where AIADMK minister Sellur Raju attempted to cover a dam with thermocol sheets to prevent the evaporation of water during the previous regime. While many sheets were placed in the water, they were later blown ashore, thanks to the strong winds in the open area.
In several western countries, there are instances of squirrels causing power disruptions, but such reasons are unheard of in the south Indian state.