Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami today accused DMK president MK Stalin of attempting to thwart the distribution of Rs 2,500 Pongal assistance to people and asserted that the government will overcome obstacles posed by him.
In an interaction with members of Women Self-Help Groups on his campaign trail, Mr Palaniswami said credit assistance worth crores has been extended through banks to such groups during the coronavirus pandemic.
Assembly elections are due in Tamil Nadu around April-May next year and parties are actively campaigning even 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 of the state.
From January 4, assistance of Rs 2,500 and a gift pack comprising ingredients to make "Pongal" (sweet rice), including rice and sugar will be distributed to rice ration card holders to help them celebrate Pongal happily, Mr 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 to 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 among the poor people. He is making various efforts to scuttle its distribution. For whom is the government giving away the assistance? It is for the poor and ordinary people and what is wrong with that?" he asked.
Mr Palaniswami also said the government distributed essential commodities, including rice, sugar and cooking oil for free to ration card holders for eight months to ensure that the people do not have to endure hardship during 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
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