The Madras high court on Friday refused to pass any interim order restraining the state government from distributing ‘pongal gift’ along with 1,000 cash assistance to ration card holders in view of the upcoming rural local body election. A division bench of Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice R Hemalatha directed the state to file its response to a PIL moved by R Alamelu, a candidate contesting the election, by January 10.

No HC stay on Tamil Nadu’s pongal doles, cash
TNN | Updated: Dec 21, 2019, 8:53 IST






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CHENNAI: The Madras high court on Friday refused to pass any interim order restraining the state government from distributing ‘pongal gift’ along with 1,000 cash assistance to ration card holders in view of the upcoming rural local body election.

A division bench of Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice R Hemalatha directed the state to file its response to a PIL moved by R Alamelu, a candidate contesting the election, by January 10.
The petitioner has filed nomination for the post of Thandarampatan panchyat union council from ward-29 in Tiruvannamalai district.

In her petitionm she said, “Since 1996 the Tamil Nadu government is providing Pongal gift along with cash assistance to all ration card holders in the state in January every year. Even for the last Pongal festival the distribution of the gift commenced on January 7,” the petitioner said.
However, for the 2020 pongal festival, the gift scheme was announced and inaugurated on November 26 itself. “This has been done with the intention to lure voters for the ensuing local body elections,” she alleged.
The ruling party has announced the gift two months prior to the festival and that too days before the state election commission notified the election dates with an intention to utilise if for its electoral benefit, the petitioner said.
Therefore, she wanted the court to pass an interim order to stay the state government’s move.

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