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Stalin trying to scuttle Rs 2,500 Pongal cash assistance to people, alleges Palaniswami
Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Thursday accused DMK president M K Stalin of making efforts to scuttle the distribution of Rs 2,500 Pongal assistance to people and asserted that the government would overcome obstacles posed by him.
In an interaction with members of Women Self-Help Groups on his campaign trail, Palaniswami said credit assistance worth crores has been extended through banks to such groups during the present coronavirus pandemic.
Assembly elections are due in Tamil Nadu during April-May 2021 and parties are actively campaigning though polls are months away. Listing the achievements of his government like providing 7.5 per cent quota for students of state-run schools who clear the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, setting up of 11 more government medical colleges, 2,000 Amma mini clinics, he said all such initiatives were aimed at benefitting the common and poor people.
From January 4, Rs 2,500 assistance and a gift pack comprising ingredients to make 'Pongal' (Sweet rice) including rice and sugar would be distributed to rice ration card holders to help them celebrate Pongal festival happily, Palaniswami said. ''The tokens to get the assistance will be delivered at your home by fair price shops,'' he said and asked people to collect the festival hamper and cash assistance and celebrate the festival with joy.
The state has 2.06 crore rice ration card holders and the Pongal festival falls on January 14. ''Stalin could not, however, tolerate the distribution of Rs 2,500 for the poor people. He is making various efforts to scuttle its distribution. For whom the government is giving away the assistance ?..it is for the poor and ordinary people and what is wrong with that?'' he asked.
Wondering why Stalin attempted to scuttle such an initiative aimed at helping people, he said the government would overcome obstacles posed by him. Also, he said the government distributed essential commodities including rice, sugar and cooking oil free of cost to ration card holders for eight months to ensure that the people were not put to hardship during the time of the pandemic.
Slamming the DMK, he said the main opposition party had not implemented its poll promises when it was voted to power in 2006. ''They said two acres of land will be given to landless farmers. But the land was not given to anyone,'' he alleged.