BJP in the dock over Pongal holiday

Chennai, Jan 9 (tamilnaducentral): BJP in Tamil Nadu is battling the onslaught of being instrumental in banning Jallikattu. Now it is seen as a North Indian party that removed Pongal from the list of national holidays and made it a restricted holiday.

The political parties say that many of the festivals like Holi among others that are celebrated only in North India are declared as national holidays. They claim that Pongal, the harvest festival was this year shifted to restricted holiday for central government employees. Practically it does not make a difference for the majority of central government employees as it falls on a second Saturday, a holiday. Only those in essential services like railways and post offices will have to  avail restricted holiday.

Those in the know point out that even certain Muslim and Christian occasions like  Milad un Nabi , Bakrid and Christmas Eve and Easter are on restricted holiday list. These officials point out that Raksha Bandhan, Janmashtami and Vinayaka Chathurthi are on restricted list. The colour given by Tamil Nadu politicians is far from truth and only a BJP bashing, they say.

Jamat-Ul-Vida, a Muslim festival is on restricted list. The holidays of birthdays of Sikh gurus and of Swami Vivekananda are limited to Punjab and West Bengal. The uproar is that Pongal that was in festive list has been moved to restricted list.

Central government employees who celebrate Pongal will also get a holiday for Sivaratri if it is under festive holidays. Now Muslims and Christians in essential services of central service cannot avail leave but unions say that duty charting is already done with this in mind, even when it was on any list. It is known that Tamil Hindus will not work for the four festival days of Pongal.

An official of the central government employees organisation said that it was difficult in a secular State like Kerala to get employees of any caste to report for work on Onam festival. Railways used to retain the running staff coming  from Tamil Nadu up to Palakkad and to Nagercoil to man the trains during Onam.

BJP president Tamilisai has said that her party will support Jallikattu that will be staged despite ban.

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