DMK, AIADMK release manifesto

DMK party chief M K Stalin, DMK principal secretary T R Balu (C) and DMK women's wing secretary M Kanimozhi, hold the party's manifesto during its release for the forthcoming general election at the party's headquarters in Chennai on Tuesday. AFP

Releasing their poll manifestos on the same day, arch rivals DMK and AIADMK were on the "same page" on Tuesday when they promised to exert pressure on the next government to release seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and abolish NEET examinations for admissions into medical colleges.

The AIADMK’s promise to implement a direct transfer scheme under the banner Amma National Poverty Eradication Initiative (ANPEI), which would ensure transfer of Rs 1,500 in the bank accounts of BPL families, destitute women, widows without income, differently-abled, landless agricultural labourers, rural and urban manual labourers and destitute senior citizens took the cake.

The two parties held out similar promises — urging the next government at the Centre to abolish Article 365 that allows dissolution of democratically-elected governments in states, bringing the subject of education back to the state and declaration of Tamil as official court language at the Madras High Court.

While both parties promised to lend their voice for the release of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, the DMK went one step further by assuring to push for abolition of death sentence.

The party also pledged to work towards establishing the Regional Council of States, declaring Tamil as co-official language in all central government offices in Tamil Nadu and pushing for reservation in the appointment of eligible and qualified people belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Backward Classes and Most Backward Classes as judges in all courts.

On national issues, the DMK promised to urge for a probe into purchase of Rafale fighter planes and recommend compensation for those who died during demonetisation.

It also demanded an enquiry into seizure of containers with currency worth Rs 570 crore and CBI probe into the Kodanadu estate murder.

Both parties also demanded full-fledged statehood for Puducherry, while the DMK assured 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 lakh — a promise that was made by the AIADMK as well.

The DMK promised to ensure an acceptable GST rate to mitigate all troubles through the GST council; the AIADMK promised a waiver of GST for the power loom and handloom weavers.

While the DMK manifesto said it will push for installation of vending machines to provide free sanitary napkins to working women in central government offices and introduction of martial arts for girl students in schools, both parties promised to ensure passage of a bill seeking 33% reservation for women in Parliament and state Assemblies.

Both parties promised to enact legislation to enable the implementation of the reservation policy in private sector, while the DMK said it will not accept the controversial eight-way lane between Chennai and Salem or the Methane extraction projects in the Cauvery Delta region.

On the Sri Lankan issue, the AIADMK said it will urge the Government of India to press the Sri Lankan government for due devolution of administrative power to the Tamil Eelam regions, the DMK promised citizenship to Sri Lankan expatriates.

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DMK, AIADMK release manifesto

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