In relief to the Congress government, Lt Governor Kiran Bedi today gave her nod for 'distribution of grocery items' free of cost to all ration card holders in Puducherry, Karaikal and Yanam regions for Pongal festival. A release from the office of Lt Governor said the approval has been given as a special case. The release also said the Lt Governor also approved distribution of free rice for the month of July last year at the rate of 20 kg for families coming under 'below poverty line' and AAY (Antyodaya Anna Yojana) scheme. Families coming under the 'above poverty line' category would be issued ten kg rice free of cost, the release added. She also laid down the condition that due "codal procedure should be followed while procuring rice from the market," the release said. The release said a proposal was received from the Department of Civil Supplies on January 8 at the office of Lt Governor. It was "carefully considered by Lt Governor in view of limited availability of funds certified by the Department of Civil supplies." She also approved the free rice scheme and distribution of Pongal gift hampers for card-holders. Reacting to the Lt Governor's nod, Chief Minister V Narayanasamy told PTI, "it is not a big thing.
It is a routine matter and much ado should not be made about it." Puducherry had witnessed agitations by the opposition AIADMK urging the government to implement without delay distribution of grocery items for card-holders for the forthcoming Pongal festival. The government and Lt Governor Bedi have been at loggerheads over many issues, including medical admissions and induction of three nominated MLAs, ever since she assumed office in 2016.
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