AIADMK distributed Rs 2,500 for Pongal during election: Minister

Reiterating that the Pongal gift scheme was first introduced in 2009 when he was the then food minister, State PWD Minister E V Velu said that they have been elected to rule for a full five years and they would fulfill their promise within the tenure
State Food Minister R Sakkarapani
State Food Minister R Sakkarapani

CHENNAI: State Food Minister R Sakkarapani on Wednesday accused the opposition AIADMK of distributing Rs 2,500 as Pongal gift to ration card holders in view of elections.

Speaking during the debate on the motion of thanks to the governor for his address in the State Assembly, Sakkarapani said that Chief Minister MK Stalin, during his stint as Leader of Opposition in the previous regime, had sought Rs 5,000 per ration card as Pongal gift during the Corona period. "You only distributed Rs 1,000. Our leader (Stalin) had promised Rs 4,000 per family as Covid relief in the poll manifesto. It was fulfilled after our leader became the Chief Minister."

Reminding the opposition that Pongal gift distribution was introduced by the DMK regime led by then chief minister M Karunanidhi in 2009, Sakkarapani said that the AIADMK regime had distributed only Rs 100 as Pongal gift to ration card holders in 2011, 2014 and 2016. You distributed nothing in 2017 and 2018. In 2019, you distributed Rs 1,000 per ration card. In 2021, you distributed Rs 2,500 per ration card because it was the election year." Reiterating that the Pongal gift scheme was first introduced in 2009 when he was the then food minister, State PWD Minister E V Velu said that they have been elected to rule for a full five years and they would fulfill their promise within the tenure.

Senior AIADMK MLA Natham Viswanathan, who raised the issue while participating in the debate on the motion of thanks to the governor for his address, said that the government should either distribute Rs 5,000, as was sought by the DMK when it was in the opposition, or at least distribute Rs 2,500 they (AIADMK) had distributed.

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