PUDUCHERRY: The Puducherry government launched a free breakfast scheme named after former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK president Kalaignar M Karunanidhi for government and government aided school students at Jeevanandham Government Higher Secondary School on Thursday.
Launching the scheme, DMK organisational secretary and MP RS Bharathi said the DMK is a party with gratitude which maintains relations with the party it supports as well as raises its voice to uphold rights. These principles have been protected by the former leader of the party M Karunanidhi. He thanked the Puducherry Chief Minister and the government for the scheme on behalf of party president M K Stalin, who he said could not be present due to certain commitments.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy said that the scheme was an apt tribute to Karunanidhi who championed the cause of downtrodden and poor people and was keenly interested in the development and welfare of people of Puducherry while taking efforts to ensure the rights of states. Karunanidhi questioned the relevance of governors of states, said Narayanasamy adding that the people of Puducherry could never forget Karnanidhi’s support and cooperation to the Union territory for its rights in Cauvery river water sharing and several other issues.
Flaying the BJP government at the Centre, Narayanasamy said its intervention in the administration of opposition-ruled states through the Governors and Lt Governors was unconstitutional. Kerala, Puducherry, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Punjab have experienced this secret agenda of the Centre but the Constitution would never allow it to succeed, he said.
Narayanasamy said the Kalaignar M Karunanidhi breakfast scheme has been introduced with a view to benefit poor students studying in government schools, particularly in rural areas. He recalled that former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Kamaraj introduced the midday meal scheme in the state and it was subsequently implemented well by Karunanidhi. Even during French rule in Puducherry, noon meals were provided to school students in Puducherry from which he himself benefited as a student, he said.
Around 80,000 students from 419 schools would benefit from the scheme once schools reopen in the Union territory. At present, 10,000 students from 106 schools would benefit from the scheme. Funds to implement the scheme have already been allocated in the budget, said Narayanasamy.
Agriculture Minister holding Education portfolio R Kamalakannan, Welfare Minister M Kandasamy, Lok Sabha member V Vaithilingam, DMK conveners in the Union territory R Siva, MLA, SP Sivakumar and A M H Nazeem, and Puducherry Pradesh Congress Committee President A V Subramanian were among those who participated in the function.
The DMK is an ally of the Congress government in the Union territory.