SALEM: Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami kicked off his campaign for 2021 Assembly elections on a strong note, by announcing a sum of Rs 2,500 and a Pongal kit for each of the 2.6 crore ration card-holding families. The distribution of the cash and kit would commence on January 4, Palaniswami said on Saturday, after inaugurating a mini-clinic at Eruppali.
The Pongal kit will contain a sugarcane, 1kg rice and sugar among other ingredients. “Officials will come to your doorstep and give away the tokens to the ration card holders. People can get the gift at ration shops at the time and date mentioned in the token.” Palaniswami said that he had announced the gift as several people had suffered economic distress this year due to Covid and the cyclone in the Delta region.
“Farmers and others are not in a position to celebrate Pongal this year. The Rangarajan Committee, which studied the impact of Covid-19, recommended financial assistance for people. Considering all this, we have decided to announce this gift.” Hitting out at Stalin for criticising the Pongal dole as a “selfish move” by the Chief Minister, Palaniswami wondered how helping the poor could be considered as being selfish. “Those who try to stop good measures offered to the poor will never win,” he said.