Both the DMK and the AIADMK have opposed the Centre’s reported move to convert the holiday given for Pongal festival into restricted one from compulsory list. AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala said the Centre’s step has come as a ‘big shock’ and urged the government to reconsider it.
“It (the decision) comes as a big shock that Pongal festival, which was a compulsory holiday for the central government employees in Tamil Nadu, has been made restricted holiday,” she said in a statement. Pongal is a cultural festival being celebrated for long transcending caste and religious feelings and it is the Centre’s “duty” to provide a holiday for the families to celebrate it, she said. Though Pongal falls on Saturday (January 14) this year, the Centre should ‘respect’ the festival and provide holiday to all central departments, she added.
WATCH VIDEO | DMK, AIADMK Slam Centre For Reportedly Making Pongal A ‘Restricted’ Holiday
The main opposition DMK also hit out at the government and announced a protest against the move on Wednesday.
The alleged move was tantamount to putting a question mark over the “nation’s pluralism,” a party headquarters release said here, adding Pongal had now been made a restricted holiday under which an employee could opt to avail holiday if she or he desired so.
“The Central government should immediately withdraw this,” the DMK release said.
While an employee is entitled to a holiday under compulsory holiday category, a holiday under restricted clause is allowed after prior permission.