Tamil speakers have started annual celebrations of Pongal beginning today. The festival will go for four days. Tamil Nadu’s Pongal celebration comes just a month ahead of the state’s assembly polls. Leaders from across the country are are set to mark their presence at the celebrations.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, is already in Chennai on a two-day visit. He offered Pongal prayers at the Sri Kadumbadi Chinnamman Temple in the state capital’s Ponniammanmedu locality on Thursday.
During his visit, Bhagwat will participate in Pongal celebrations. He is scheduled to meet young professionals and start-up owners and also likely to interact with dignitaries. Earlier this week, an RSS press statement said as per his schedule, Bhagwat will review organisation’s work with local functionaries.
Early this morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his customary wishes in both English and Tamil.
BJP party chief, J.P. Nadda, is scheduled to visit Tamil Nadu today to attend the Namma Ooru Pongal, a state-wide programme, in Chennai. The BJP is looking forward to making its mark in Tamil Nadu this election. While it is yet to announce a formal alliance for the state polls, it did tie up with the AIADMK in the 2019 national election.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attended the popular Jallikattu event in Madurai district and was joined by DMK youth leader Udayanidhi Stalin. The Jallikattu tradition that involves rampaging bulls enjoys passionate following in the state. While, a few years ago, the Supreme Court had banned the practice during the event citing animal cruelty, the Central government later legalised it keeping Tamil sentiments in view.
The Congress is the marginal player in the state and is trying to maximise its gains from its alliance with DMK, the main opposition party in the state. The alliance is hoping to replace the ruling AIADMK government. For the first time in decades, the DMK and AIADMK will be fighting in upcoming elections without their biggest icons, M. Karunanidhi and J. Jayalalithaa.