The opposition AIADMK on Thursday demanded that the state government pay an additional sum of Rs 1,500 each to Haj pilgrims for their stay and other expenses in Kochi from where they will be embarking on the pilgrimage.
Party leader and former Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, said in a statement that the state government should have pressured the Union government for Haj embarking points in Chennai and Tiruchi for the pilgrims. At present, Kochi in Kerala is the Haj embarking point for pilgrims from Tamil Nadu. The former chief minister said that only 1,750 pilgrims from the state were granted permission for the pilgrimage.
Palaniswami said that in 2020 when AIADMK government was in power, the number of pilgrims sanctioned was nearly 3,000. The former chief minister lashed out at the DMK government and said that the neighbouring states of Kerala and Karnataka were able to get a higher proportion of Haj pilgrims cleared by the Centre.
He also demanded the state government to immediately release the Haj grant of Rs 10 crore without any further delay.
The state opposition leader also called upon the Chief Minister M.K. Stalin to intervene and ensure the restoration of the earlier position on the number of Haj pilgrims.