DMK, allies skip Raj Bhavan Pongal celebrations

The ruling DMK and its allies stayed away from the Pongal celebrations hosted by Governor R.N. Ravi at the Raj Bhavan on Thursday.
“The Governor purposefully avoided using the Tamil Nadu emblem in the invitation itself, besides twisting the name of the State. It is an insult to Tamil Nadu. So, the party leadership has decided to boycott the programme as a sign of protest,” former MP and DMK’s spokesperson TKS Elangovan said.

The DMK-led Secular Progressive Alliance including VCK, MDMK and IUML echoed the same. “We have decided not to participate in any of the programmes organised in Raj Bhavan to express our protest against the Governor for acting against the Constitution and the interest of the people of the state,” said Congress Floor leader K Selvaperunthagai. State CPM secretary K Balakrishnan said they were also on the same line of the allies in this issue.

Leader of Opposition and AIADMK leader Edappadi K. Palaniswami along with many of his party colleagues attended the event and so did ousted AIADMK coordinator O. Panneerselvam.A few of the senior bureaucrats and police officers – Public Secretary D Jagannathan, Finance Secretary N Muruganandam, Chennai City Police Commissioner Shankar Jiwal, and ADGP (L&O) K Shankar – have attended the programme.

No minister or legislator of the ruling party or its allies were seen at the function against the backdrop of the recent escalation in strains between the Governor and Government and the controversy related to the replacing of the Tamil Nadu State Emblem with the National Emblem in the invitation for the event.

On the occasion, Mr. Ravi said the Pongal festival is a living heritage held in every village in the State to celebrate bravery in the form of Jallikattu and also the harvest festival to pay tribute to the almighty. The celebrations at the Raj Bhavan witnessed a melange of traditional folk dance and music performances. Mr. Ravi attired in the traditional dress of veshti and shirt inaugurated the festival by making the Pongal dish.

During his speech, he wished all in Tamil. During the event, 35 tribals from the Nilgiris Tribal Association honoured the governor by giving him a bouquet. Kerala brahmins offered special poojas and tied parivattam to the governor.

The Governor felicitated the folk artists who performed in the festival.

People from various walks of life along with senior government officials of the State and Central governments participated.

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