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HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

Modi or Rahul? None of the above for Karunanidhi

KV Lakshmana, Hindustan Times  Chennai, March 11, 2014
First Published: 12:04 IST(11/3/2014) | Last Updated: 19:39 IST(11/3/2014)

DMK patriarch and party supremo M Karunanidhi on Tuesday said his choice for the PM post was a person other than Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi.
 
"Anyone other than these two," was Karunanidhi's cryptic reply to a question by a journalist on the DMK's choice as the PM candidate.
 
He was speaking to the media immediately after releasing the party's manifesto for the forthcoming general elections at the DMK headquarters here.

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While Modi is the prime ministerial candidate for the BJP-led alliance, the Congress vice-president is expected to be the choice for the top post if the Congress returns to power at the Centre.

Read: LS polls: DMK releases 1st list, re-nominates A Raja

Karunanidhi, however, rejected the notion that going into the general elections without an alliance with a national party would be a problem.
 
Once a part of the ruling alliance at the Centre, the regional party had snapped ties with the Congress and walked out of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in March, 2013.
 
The party, with 18 Lok Sabha MPs, had also withdrawn its five central ministers over the issue of alleged human rights violations of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

On Tuesday, the DMK came out with a promise for every section of the populace in a manifesto that sought abolition of death sentence, implementation of Sethusamudram project, granting official language status for Tamil in high courts and focus on job creation and poverty alleviation.
 
The DMK chief also sought reservation in private sector jobs.
 
For Tamil Nadu, Karunanidhi has demanded the country's second rocket launch pad.

Read: Congress, DMK are 'anti-Tamils', charges Jayalalithaa

The party would be going to the people on the strength of the positive work done by the party when in government at the Centre, its own achievements in Tamil Nadu during its reign and the promise of a better tomorrow.
 
The DMK also raised the issue of statehood for Puducherry, which at present has an assembly but also a Lt Governor.
 
Playing the Dalit card, the DMK has sought reservation for SC in higher judiciary, inclusion of fishermen in SC list, and waiver of educational loans to members of BC and MBC categories.
 
Then for the middle class, the DMK promised to raise income tax exemption limit to Rs. 6 lakh per annum for men and Rs. 7.2 lakh per annum for women.
 
It also included a demand for waiver of all loans to small and medium farmers, given the agrarian crisis staring the country in its face.
 
The DMK reiterated its opposition to FDI in retail in the manifesto that has 100 sections covering social, economic and political aspects, all the time keeping the "interests" of Tamils and Tamil Nadu in mind. The manifesto runs into 63 pages.

Read: Left walks out of AIADMK alliance, gets DMK invitation


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