DMK manifesto seeks release of Rajiv convicts

Abolition of death penalty and NEET exam are highlight in the manifesto

DMK President M K Stalin releases manifesto for Lok Sabha elections. (Twitter/@arivalayam)

Taking steps to abolish NEET examination for admission into medical colleges, and waiving off educational loans of students, abolition of death penalty and release of seven convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case are some of the promises made in the DMK manifesto released on Tuesday.

Releasing the election document, party President M K Stalin said the DMK is opposed to conducting of NEET in Tamil Nadu and will take steps to get it abolished if the party is part of the next government at the Centre. The manifesto, among other things, also promised to work towards abolishing Article 356 that allows the Central Government to dismiss a democratically-elected government in states.

Dwelling into the Centre-State relations, the party said it would work towards establishing Regional Council of States, declaring Tamil as co-official language in all Central Government offices in Tamil Nadu, accepting Tamil as court language of Madras High Court and pushing for reservation in appointment of eligible and qualified people belonging to SC, ST, BC and MBC as judges in all courts.

It said the DMK will urge the Union Government to bring out suitable amendments to the IPC for the total abolition of death sentence, which has already been done away with in 150 countries.

“The DMK urges the Central and State governments to take appropriate action to release on humanitarian grounds the seven persons who were convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and are languishing in prison for more than 27 years,” Stalin said, reading out from the manifesto.

The manifesto also promised to urge for a probe into purchase of Rafale fighter planes, enquiry into seizure of containers with huge currency of Rs 570 crore, CBI probe into Kodanadu Estate murder and robbery and urge for full-fledged statehood for Puducherry.

“The DMK will ask the GoI to make it mandatory that Central PSUs in state should employ not less than 90 per cent of employees from the state and urge providing compensation for those who died during demonetisation,” it said. Other major promises are re-introduction of Administered Pricing Mechanism (APM) for petroleum products which would ensure that the prices are not modified every day and increase of exemption limit of Income Tax to Rs 8 lakhs.

The party also promised to ensure an acceptable GST rate to mitigate all troubles through GST council and work towards establishing a separate budget for farmers, besides waiving off all kinds of crop loans obtained by small and marginal farmers.

On women’s issues, the manifesto said it will push for installation of vending machines to provide free sanitary napkins to working women in Central Government offices, introducing martial arts for girl students in schools, ensure passage of bill seeking 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and state assemblies and a law to prevent posting of any kind of obscene pictures of women on social media

“The National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) which is being presently enforced for selection to admissions for graduate and post-graduate courses in medical colleges is against the interest of the poor, rural and oppressed class students, across the country. In the interest of social justice, the DMK will strive for the abolition of NEET forthwith,” the manifesto said.

The Lok Sabha Polls begin on April 11. 

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