Centre gives in to Sasikala's demands, Pongal now a compulsory holiday

Sasikala Natajaran had urged the centre to review its decision of changing the status of Pongal holidays from compulsory to restricted.

In what could be termed as a big win for the new AIADMK  General Secretary, Sasikala Natarajan, the central government on January 10 changed the status of Pongal holiday from restricted to compulsory for the central government employees of Tamil Nadu.

This comes just a day after the central government changed the status of the Pongal holidays from compulsory to restricted. Following which, Sasikala expressed disappointment over the issue and urged the centre to review their decision on the same.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had also asked the centre to add Pongol in the compulsory list of holidays.

Sasikala Natarajan asserted that the move came as “shock” to the state and the state government. “The centre’s decision came as a huge shock. The Pongal festival, that used to be a compulsory holiday for the central government employees in Tamil Nadu, have been changed to restricted holiday,” Sasikala said in a statement.

She further said that it was the duty of the government to accept the culture of the people who have been celebrating Pongal with their families for years now.

Opposing the move, Sasikala affirmed that the central government should respect the feelings of the people and revoke their decision. She added it was due to the efforts made by the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Jayalalithaa who passed away last month, the rights of the people of the state of Tamil Nadu were guarded.

DMK has also went on to oppose the government decision and asked them to make the Pongal holiday compulsory again.

In a sudden move, the central government on January 9 changed the status of the Pongal holidays from compulsory to restricted. Pongal is a Tamil harvest festivals. People earlier availed a compulsory off on the occasion of Pongal. However, from now on, it would be considered as a restricted holiday.

Restricted holidays basically mean only the people related to the particular festival could avail an off or a holiday on that day. The reason of the decision has not been ascertained as yet.

A number of people on social media also slammed the government over the move with many claiming that the move was anti-people.

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