The ‘Prime Time’ of PTR Palanivel Thiagarajan, Tamil Nadu’s finance Minister, has been all the rage for a while now as he dared to take on the Prime Minister and his plenipotentiaries questioning their pronouncements over freebies. The PM had opened up a big debate after comparing freebies to the coarse sweet ‘Revdi’ and Opposition states took it up big time. PTR was on the warpath everywhere, including in an Oxford debate, in which he compared the Modi regime to British rule. He questioned whether the Centre had performed so well on the economy front that everyone had to follow its dictates. Not to be outdone by someone who took on the highest in the land, the BJP’s mouthpieces began digging into the Tamil Nadu economy to point out that its finance minister was just bragging about a Dravidian model while he was sustaining government expenditure by simply borrowing – as much as Rs 72,500 crore in 2021-22, to be scaled up to Rs. 90,000 crore in 2022-23. After PTR took over, the State’s debt ballooned to Rs 3.02 lakh per family from Rs 2.63 lakh per family. The percentage of debt to GSDP is also on an upward curve even as the Dravidian state leans on liquor sales to sustain its expenditure, boosted of course by freebies like free electricity for farmers and others.