CPI (M) stages protest, demands opening of PDS outlets in U.T.

Members of the CPI (M) taking out a rally to open closed ration shops in Puducherry.

Members of the CPI (M) taking out a rally to open closed ration shops in Puducherry. | Photo Credit: S.S. KUMAR

The CPI (M) on Tuesday staged a major protest on the Jawaharlal Nehru Street, demanding the immediate opening of Public Distribution (PDS) Outlets in the Union Territory.

Party workers, led by party politburo member G. Ramakrishnan, Puducherry unit secretary R. Rajangam, party veterans T. Murugan and V. Perumal, took out a procession from Balaji Theatre to the Chief Secretariat. They were stopped by the police when they reached the commercial hub of J.N. Street-Mission Street junction. The party workers were planning to lay siege of the Secretariat.

After being stopped by the police, the protesters squatted on the busy stretch blocking vehicle movement for almost one hour. They were joined for a brief while by Congress leader and former Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy.

Mr. Narayanasamy, Mr. Ramakrishnan and Mr. Murugan addressed party workers at the protest venue. The leaders blamed the Centre for the closure of PDS outlets in the Union Territory and vowed to continue their agitation against the closure of ration shops.

However, the protesters withdrew their agitation after the police allowed a delegation, comprising Mr. Rajangam, party central committee member Sudha Sundararaman, CPI (M) State Committee members Kolanjiappan and Kaniyamoorthy to meet Chief Secretary Rajeev Verma at the Secretariat.

Mr. Rajangam in a memorandum to the Chief Secretary, said the closure of PDS outlets in the Union Territory for the last three years had affected the poor. He urged the Chief Secretary to open the outlets at the earliest. The CPI (M) wanted the Chief Secretary to look into complaints of irregularities in the distribution of ration cards. Many people eligible for red ration cards had been left out in the distribution process, he said.

The party urged the Chief Secretary to hold a public hearing to elicit the views of ration card holders, to understand the sufferings of people due to closure of PDS outlets.

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Printable version | Aug 2, 2022 10:50:28 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/cpi-m-stages-protest-demands-opening-of-pds-outlets-in-ut/article65716208.ece