TN Guv, CM, Stalin extend Pongal greetings

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Chennai, Jan 13 (PTI) Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister K Palaniswami, deputy CM O Panneerselvam, DMK President M K Stalin and several leaders on Wednesday greeted people on the occasion of Pongal.

Conveying his warm greetings and good wishes to the people of Tamil Nadu on the joyous and auspicious occasion of Pongal and Sankaranthi, the governor called upon the them to 'resolve to return to our roots and protect our glorious culture, traditions, customs, arts and festivals.' 'We should all take pride in our tradition and culture and keep the banner of the Tamil way of life flying high for all times to come,' he said in a Raj Bhavan statement.

This harvest festival brings joy and prosperity in abundance to our families.

'On this day, we rejoice with nature and thank the Sun God for the bountiful prosperity showered on us. May this festival fill everyone's lives with abundant prosperity. May everyone be blessed with good health,' Purohit added.

In his message, Palaniswami said 'let farming prosper and farmers be happy this Pongal festival. Let love and peace prevail in everyones life.' He recalled the welfare schemes being implemented for farmers including collective farming scheme, successful functioning of 'Uzhavan' mobile app, provision of certified seeds to farmers and several other initiatives for increasing agricultural productivity.

His government has always been in the forefront when it came to safeguarding the interest of farmers and taking steps to mitigate their conditions during natural calamities.

About Rs 9,141 crore relief has been provided to farmers under the Prime Minister's Crop Insurance scheme since the last four years and Tamil Nadu had bagged the Centre's Krishi Karman award for five years, Palaniswami said.

The ruling AIADMK coordinator Panneerselvam and joint coordinator K Palaniswami in a seperate party statement, greeted the people on the eve of Pongal.

DMK president M K Stalin extended both Pongal and Tamil New year greetings.

Late DMK President M Karunanidhi, as then chief minister in 2008, had revised the Tamil calendar and fixed the Tamil New year to Thai (January) as against Chithirai (April).

Though the subsequent AIADMK government headed by the late J Jayalalithaa in 2011 reverted the Tamil New year to Chithirai, DMK has ever since celebrated the birth of new year in Thai along with Pongal.

In his greetings, Stalin said there will be a 'new democratic dawn' this year after the Assembly polls, likely in April-May.

He promised waiver of farm, students and jewel loans if voted to power and said such a 'dawn will be for the all round happiness.' He extended both Pongal and 'Tamil New year' greetings to the people.

MDMK founder Vaiko, state presidents of Congress and BJP, KS Alagiri and L Murugan, respectively and several other leaders too greeted the people on the occasion. PTI JSP SA ROH ROH