Chennai: Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Monday launched the special financial assistance of Rs 2,000 each targetting about 60 lakh below the poverty line (BPL) families across Tamil Nadu.
The scheme which was launched to help the BPL families in the cyclone Gaja-ravaged coastal districts and also those in other parts of the State who lost their livelihood due to the prevailing drought condition, from the State Secretariat here. Palaniswami handed over the administrative sanction to deposit `2,000 in the bank accounts of 32 beneficiary families on the occasion.
On February 11, the Chief Minister had announced in the Assembly that his government would provide the special aid and said an allocation of about Rs 1,200 crore would be included in the supplementary estimates for this fiscal. Accordingly, on February 14, while presenting the supplementary estimates Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam who holds the Finance portfolio, said about `1,200 crore has been included in the final supplementary estimates for 2018 - 19 towards special cash assistance of `2,000 per family to the BPL whose livelihood has been severely affected by drought and Gaja cyclone in November 2018.
Palaniswami had said that 35 lakh families in villages besides 25 lakh families in the urban areas would benefit by this gesture. The financial assistance will be of great succour especially to agricultural workers, fishermen, workers in firecracker units, handloom weavers, tree climbers and others.
The government had paid `1,000 as a cash gift and gift hamper to ration card holders-BPL and non-priority household with sugar-only ration card to celebrate Pongal festival.
DMK petitions EC, alleges inducement of voters:
The opposition DMK has petitioned the Election Commission of India on Monday dubbing the one-time aid for BPL families as an “inducement of voters” ahead of the coming Lok Sabha election.
In its petition, the DMK alleged that the ruling AIADMK was “against a level playing field” in the Lok Sabha polls and sought appropriate action. The party alleged that the scheme was being misused for the benefit of AIADMK workers and office bearers.
“Our party is not against financial assistance to BPL families but are concerned that the amount is now being misused for the benefit of AIADMK workers and office-bearers,” DMK organising secretary and party’s Rajya Sabha MP R.S. Bharathi, said in the petition to the EC. AIADMK spokesperson, also a former Minister, had said the scheme was “being given to nearly three crore voters, of which two crore would definitely cast their votes in favour” of the ruling party and ensure it ‘swept’ the polls by winning all 40 Lok Sabha seats, 39 in Tamil Nadu and one Puducherry. Bharathi alleged that some political parties, social activists and people had objected to the scheme soon after it was announced.
“It is clear that the payment of `2,000 is nothing but an inducement to voters to cast votes in favour of the ruling AIADMK, which is against level playing field in the forthcoming General Election to the Parliament. Hence the scheme will not benefit BPL families,” he said and requested the EC to check the illegalities and take immediate action....