Govt issues order restricting Onam celebrations at office hours

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The Kerala government has issued an order that Onam celebration will not be allowed in government offices during working hours. The chief secretary, in the order, made it clear that celebrations could be conducted after duty hours.

All the department heads of the government have been asked to ensure that the order is implemented. Earlier, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had made it clear that celebrations such as ‘pookkalam’ (floral art) contest should not be conducted during office hours.

The CM said celebrations should not affect discharging of official duties. He had also said that government officials should not go for shopping during working hours. Pinarayi’s comments were criticized by both the Congress and BJP.

“It is ridiculous that a chief minister, who extended support for the general strike of workers on September 2, was asking employees to abstain from festivities”, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala had said and added that there was nothing wrong in having Onam festivities in offices that would last for just an hour.

BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan had said that CM Pinarayi should first rein in trade union leaders of his party who strike work and conduct union activities during office hours, rather than imposing restrictions on Onam festivities.

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