Tamil Nadu government to not lift ban on lottery ticket sale

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Palanivel Thiaga Rajan, Tamil Nadu’s finance minister, on Sunday ruled out any attempt by the M.K Stalin government to lift the ban on the sale of lottery tickets in the state. Rajan’s clarification came after former chief minister and AIADMK co-coordinator Edappadi K. Palaniswami said his party would oppose the DMK-led government’s move to reintroduce sale of lottery tickets in the state.

“I would like to assert that the talk about lottery did not arise in any of the discussions or review meetings of the Tamil Nadu government,” Rajan was quoted by a report in The Hindu.

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“Even when we attempt to restore it (economy), Mr. Palaniswami should understand that lottery is not at all in our minds,” he further added.

Palaniswami, on Saturday, had issued a warning to state government against any attempt of reintroducing lotteries, according to a report in the Times of India. Palaniswami’s former boss and chief minister J. Jayalalithaa had in fact banned the sale and purchase of all types of lotteries, including online lotteries in 2003.

Palaniswami further stressed that the government would face massive opposition if it went ahead with the plan.

Palaniswami, while citing reports about the government’s plan of reintroducing lottery state-wide, said “It is commendable that they (DMK), who claimed that they know how to shore up government revenues before coming to power, decided to bring back the lottery and turn the state into a graveyard.”

Palaniswami further added that lotteries were introduced for a noble cause but former chief minister Karunanidhi permitted private entities to enter the business, thus diluting the cause.

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The former chief minister said that “lotteries turned into a massive gamble like horse races and card games. The agents from other states printed and sold to the people as counterfeit notes.”

The sale and purchase of lotteries affected many individuals as they gave up their lives in the hope of becoming millionaires, he highlighted. It was Jayalalithaa who protected the poor and banned the sale of lotteries in the state by issuing a government order, a decision that was upheld by the Supreme Court,