Chennai, Jan 7 (IANS) Opposition leader in the Tamil Nadu Assembly and former Chief Minister E.K. Palaniswami on Friday slammed Chief Minister M.K. Stalin for not shutting down Tasmac-run (Tamil Nadu State Marketing Cooperation) liquor shops despite the surge in Covid cases in the state.
Palaniswami said that Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian has himself said that the third wave is on in the state, and asked as to why the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister is shying away from announcing the closure of Tasmac liquor 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, Stalin, who was then the opposition leader, had staged a protest in front of his house sporting a black badge for shutting down Tasmac shops.
Palaniswami asked as to why Stalin is not announcing the closure of liquor shops now even as Covid cases continue surge in the state.
He also 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.
Palaniswami said that even as the government had announced a minimum price of Rs 33 per kg for sugarcane for distribution as part of the gift hampers, the farmers were paid only Rs 14 to Rs 22 per kg.
In a related development, former Chief Minister and AIADMK chief coordinator, O. Panneerselvam, in a statement asked as to why the government is 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 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 1,000 to each ration cardholder during the Pongal festival.
She also called upon the state government to ensure that all the grocery items that are announced by the government are included in the gift hampers.