AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa on Tuesday slammed Chief Minister M Karunanidhi for attending a film function when the state was reeling under monsoon fury and likened him to Roman Emperor Nero who "fiddled when Rome was burning".
"Thousands of hectares of standing crops have gone under water, 170 persons and nearly 2000 cattle have been killed in various rain-related incidents and people are suffering due to rain and floods...At such a time, he had happily spent time by attending a cinema music release function," she said in a statement in Chennai.
The Opposition Leader said most of Karunanidhi's cabinet colleagues were also present at the function and criticised the timing of the event.
"Is this public service? Is such a programme necessary at this point of time," she asked while comparing him to Roman Emperor Nero.
When heavy rains pounded the state in 2005, Jayalalithaa said she visited many affected areas to take stock of the situation and also ensured that government machinery was engaged to take up relief on "war-footing".
She alleged that people in many affected areas were not getting adequate relief and referred to reports that proper damage-assessment was not being carried out by officials.
She said her partymen would distribute relief material in affected areas.