Chief Minister MK Stalin on Wednesday announced inclusion of one full sugarcane stalk in the Pongal gift hamper, which currently comprises 1kg raw rice, 1kg sugar and Rs 1,000 in cash.
The department of cooperation has been tasked with procuring sugarcane from farmers. Minister of Cooperation KR Periyakaruppan said tokens to ration cardholders for collecting gifts from PDS shops would be issued between January 3 and 8.
Meanwhile, the launch of Pongal gift distribution by the chief minister in Chennai has been postponed from January 2 to 9, said a government statement on Wednesday. A few days ago, TN government announced the distribution of Pongal gifts to 2.19 crore rice ration cardholders and residents of Sri Lankan Tamil rehabilitation camps in the state.
The gift hampers, however, didn’t have sugarcane, and this had drawn flak from farmers, the AIADMK, the BJP, the CPM and few other political parties. Many parties, as such, welcomed the state government’s decision to include sugarcane in the gift hamper. AIADMK interim general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami claimed credit for the government’s decision while PMK founder S Ramadoss said he was the first to make the demand. Palaniswami also said the demonstration scheduled for January 2 in Tiruvannamalai has been cancelled.
AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam, in a statement here, said the government should come forward to extend the Pongal gift to sugar cardholders (3.83 lakh) and those who have applied for rice ration cards (1 lakh).
AIADMK leader Edappadi K Palaniswami claimed credit for the government’s decision while PMK founder S Ramadoss said he was the first to make the demand. EPS also said the protest for January 2 in Tiruvannamalai has been cancelled