2016 ended as a year of grief for people of Tamil Nadu who lost their popular leader J Jayalalithaa, who had only seven months ago led her party to a comprehensive successive second victory in the Assembly polls.
Cyclone Vardah hitting hard and a series of protests and sporadic violence on the Cauvery issue stretching over a month were among the other key events that the state witnessed this year. As the ruling AIADMK is trying to find its feet in both party affairs and governance with the passing away of Jayalalithaa, main Opposition DMK is on a wait-and-watch mode though it continues to take up key issues like Cauvery and Jallikattu to keep the political pot boiling. DMK treasurer MK Stalin became the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly for the first time, and his party won 89 seats.
Cyclone Vardah hit the state was like deja vu, reminding the sufferings of 2015’s heavy rains during the corresponding period. Chief Minister O Panneerselvam has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release Rs 22,573 crore as cyclone aid. Jayalalithaa swung into action from day one after being sworn in May as chief minister for the sixth time by implementing a slew of measures. Waiver of crop loans for farmers, increase in gold allocation for women beneficiaries and closure of 500 Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (Tasmac) liquor outlets were among the measures aimed at fulfilling her electoral promises.