CHENNAI: A day after the DMK government announced the inclusion of sugarcane in Pongal gifts to ration cardholders, principal opposition party AIADMK and its ally BJP on Thursday targeted the DMK government on another issue relating to Pongal. AIADMK interim general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami and BJP state president K Annamalai, in separate statements, alleged that the cotton yarn given to weavers to make sarees and dhotis for distribution to the poor for Pongal was substandard and that the production orders were delayed. Besides, the sarees and dhotis might be procured largely from private players, thus affecting the weavers.
Palaniswami, in his statement, said there were reports that the orders for weaving sarees and dhotis were given only in October instead of July, and the cotton yarn was supplied in November last week and December first week. The weavers sent back yarn bales to the government saying they were substandard. If the government failed to distribute sarees and dhotis to the poor for Pongal, the AIADMK would stage a massive protest, he added.
In his statement, Annamalai said the DMK government procured sarees and dhotis from private players in 2021 and this could repeat this year as well. Usually, 80% of the sarees and dhotis should have been weaved by December, but only 42% of sarees and 29% of dhotis could made till date since the government delayed orders and also supplied the weavers subpar yarn. “If the government plans to give `487.92 crore allocated for the supply of sarees and dhotis only to private players instead of genuine weavers, the BJP wouldn’t remain a mere spectator,” Annamalai said.
Distribution will be completed in time: Min
Chennai: Handlooms and Textiles Minister R Gandhi on Thursday asserted that the distribution of sarees and dhotis to the 1.79 crore family cardholders for Pongal would be completed in time. He also said works for producing sarees and dhotis using quality cotton yarn have been going on in full swing. Responding to the statement of Leader of the Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami that the AIADMK would stage a demonstration if the government failed to distribute sarees and dhotis for Pongal, the minister said Chief Minister MK Stalin had sanctioned `487.92 crore for this scheme this year. Stating that EPS should desist from issuing such statements to confuse the public, the minister said EPS had issued this statement since he could not level any other charge against the DMK government.