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DMK hits back over ‘Pongal gift hamper’ charges levelled by AIADMK

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Following allegations by AIADMK leaders O Panneerselvam and Edappadi K Palaniswami regarding the Pongal gift hampers being distributed to family cardholders, Food Minister R Sakkarapani on Tuesday said the AIADMK leaders are levelling false charges.

Panneerselvam had said most of the essentials in the hampers were bought from other States. To this, Sakkarapani said open tenders were floated to procure the items, and awarded to the companies that quoted the lowest bids. As per law, companies across the country can participate in the tender process, and hence, products were procured from other States, he explained.

“The present government has saved a huge amount through the proper tendering process. In contrast, there were irregularities in the Pongal gift hamper scheme during the AIADMK regime,” he added.

“Pongal gift hampers given by the previous DMK government till 2011 were stopped after the AIADMK came to power. But in 2013 and 2014, one kg of raw rice, one kg of sugar, and Rs 100 were given to family cardholders. In later years, other goods were added. Now, the DMK government is giving 21 items, including full sugarcane. But AIADMK leaders are making false allegations,” Sakkarapani said at the Secretariat.

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