Tamil Nadu CM asks Centre to include Pongal in compulsory holiday list

She said the DMK now was protesting for the sake of protesting. Revenue administration, disaster management and mitigation commissioner K Satyagopal said the state would send a memorandum to the Centre within a week seeking relief assistance.

"Those who are opposing Jallikattu and advocating for its ban, on the basis of cruelty towards animals, should also ban biryani", said Kamal Haasan in an interview to Tamil media persons.

Sasikala said that the Centre's purported move has come as a "big shock" and urged the Union government to review it's decision and "uphold the rights" of Tamilians.

He also suggested that an additional day for Pongal be included in the list of optional holidays, saying it would ensure Thiruvalluvar Day, on January 15, could also be declared as a holiday for Central employees so that they could fully participate in the festivities. Politics over holiday for the harvest festival sprang up suddenly due to misinformation and muddled Jallikattu situation.

On Monday, the Tamil Nadu government sought Rs 2,480 crore as compensation from Karnataka since Karnataka had failed to comply with the Supreme Court (SC) order regarding release of Cauvery water.

"Festivals such as Pongal and Makar Sankaranti are celebrated in different states on different dates". People earlier availed a compulsory off on the occasion of Pongal.

Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said that the order of the apex court in the matter is expected any day and based on it government will take a call. Meanwhile, to combat drinking water scarcity, the Tamil Nadu government will spend Rs 160 crore on urban drinking water supply and Rs 350 crore in rural areas.

"To my knowledge, for the last 15 years Pongal had never been on the compulsory list of holidays of the central government".

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