Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Wednesday urged the DMK functionaries to desist from greeting him in person on Pongal, and said the pandemic situation called for extreme restraint and strict compliance with government’s COVID-19 safety precautions.
Though he will be immensely delighted in meeting the party members to exchange greetings, in the present context, particularly amidst increasing Coronavirus cases, it will be prudent to avoid crowding. “I kindly request you to avoid the congregation. It is absolutely mandatory to follow the government guidelines on COVID-19 precautions,” the DMK president, who piloted his party to a spectacular win after being in the opposition for a decade, said.
In a letter to party members, Stalin recalled that he made a similar appeal for the New Year’s Day for the same reason and was “amazed at the sense of control of the cadres who accepted and adhered to it.” “So, I request you to observe it on this Pongal (mid-January) festival. Be resolute in preventing the spread of Coronavirus. This will be an unparalleled Pongal gift you will be giving me,” the DMK president said.
Extending his Pongal greetings to the party functionaries he said “let there be a surfeit of love in hearts and joy in homes.” Pongal festival is a unique symbol of Tamil culture, a festival dedicated to peasants and a festival of thanksgiving to nature. He recalled that it was the DMK which identified Pongal as a Tamil festival. Party legislators and officials should ensure the government Pongal gift hampers reaches the beneficiaries.
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“May your hearts and minds be filled with everlasting joy. Adhere to government guidelines on COVID-19 safety. Maintain social distancing and wear masks to prevent the spread of Coronavirus,” Stalin urged.