Four MLAs of the Opposition AIADMK today staged a sit-in protest outside the territorial Assembly here to urge the Puducherry government to implement schemes for distribution of freebies to the people of the Union Territory. The MLAs led by A Anbalagan resorted to the sit-in holding placards and sought clarification from the territorial government on the distribution of free sugar, rice, garments and Pongal gift hampers, which it had announced for the ration card holders. The Puducherry administration had obtained the nod from the Assembly through the budget for the fiscal 2017-2018, for free rice, sugar and other schemes, AIADMK legislature wing leader A Anbalagan told reporters here. "Funds to the tune of Rs 284 crores were also sanctioned through the budget for the departments operating the free rice scheme during the current fiscal," he claimed and questioned the need for sending the files pertaining to the schemes to the office of Lt Governor Kiran Bedi for approval every month. Anbalagan and other MLAs gave up their dharna after assembly Speaker V Vaithilingam emerged from his chamber and invited them for talks. Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, who took part in the discussion, told the agitating MLAs that the government has done its duty by forwarding the files to the Lt Governors' office for approval of the schemes. He hinted that the ball was now in the court of Lt Governor. Meanwhile, official sources said the government was awaiting the approval of Bedi for the implementation of freebies.
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