Chennai, Jan 7 (BPNS)
Opposition leader in the Tamil Nadu assembly and former Chief Minister, Edappady K. Palaniswami (EPS) has slammed the Chief Minister for not shutting down Tamil Nadu State Marketing Cooperation(Tasmac) shops even after Covid surge in the state. He said that the Tamil Nadu health minister Ma Subramanian had himself said that the third wave is on in the state and asked as to why the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister was shying away from announcing the closure of Tasmac shops. He was speaking to reporters after walking out of the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly.
The senior AIADMK leader said that during the first wave of Covid -19 when the AIADMK was in power, the present Chief Minister who was then the opposition leader had staged a protest in front of his house (EPS house) spotting a black badge for shutting down the Tasmac shops. The opposition leader asked as to why Stalin was not announcing the closing down of liquor shops now even as Covid surge is on in the state.
He said that the Pongal gift hampers that were being given to ration cardholders were incomplete and in many kits, the announced 21 items were not there. The Opposition leader also said that even if there were 21 items in some kits, the quality of the grocery items was very poor and substandard.
EPS also said that even as the Government had announced a minimum price of Rs 33 per kilogram for sugarcane for distribution as part of the gift hampers, the farmers were paid only Rs 14 to Rs 22 per kilo.
In a related development former Chief Minister and AIADMK chief coordinator,O. Panneerselvam in a statement asked as to why the government was extending the supply of gift hampers till the end of January even as Pongal would be over on January 14. He called upon the government to ensure that gift hampers for Pongal are distributed to all ration cardholders and the distribution carried out without any hindrance.
Meanwhile former interim general secretary of the AIADMK, V.K. Sasikala in a statement called upon the state government to provide Rs 1000 to each ration cardholder during the Pongal festival. She also called upon the government to ensure that all the grocery items that are announced by the government are included in the gift hampers.