Substandard grocery items served as part of free Pongal hampers, alleges OPS

Former Chief Minister and AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam on Friday stated that the provision items given as part of free Pongal gift hampers were of substandard quality. In a statement, the AIADMK leader said that a total of 21 grocery items are issued during the Pongal festival through fair price shops, but this year the beneficiaries complaint that there has been a shortage of 5 to 6 items.

Several ration shops are also distributing substandard jaggery to the public and the items are handed over in hands without a cloth bag, OPS said. "Chief Minister M K Stalin had assured that the hampers will be given till the end of this month, but what is the purpose of giving the hampers after Pongal, when there is no cash dole," OPS wondered in the statement.

Heated arguments between the public and the beneficiaries over the poor distribution of Pongal gifts are visible and is going viral on social media. The DMK government had also deviated from the practice of issuing cash doles introduced as part of Pongal hamper distribution by the previous AIADMK government, OPS noted.

The quality of provisions distributed need to be improved and if required the distributed items can be recalled and freshly issued with better grocery items, OPS suggested demanding chief minister M K Stalin’s intervention.