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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Jayalalithaa scripts mother of all poll promises

KV Lakshmana, Hindustan Times  Chennai, February 25, 2014
First Published: 23:41 IST(25/2/2014) | Last Updated: 00:28 IST(26/2/2014)

For voters of India till now envious of Tamil Nadu voters, here comes the mother of all manifestoes – scripted by Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

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The AIADMK supremo in her election manifesto for 2014 general elections expanded the distribution of goodies – ranging from free mixies, grinders to laptops to cycles to gold to cash as marriage assistance to girls from weaker sections to cows and goats to eligible persons – to the entire country.

People from all walks of life and strata of society can expect subsidized entertainment too – through cable television and film theatres.

After vowing Tamil Nadu by promising these and many other freebies in 2011 assembly elections to state assembly and more important implanting these schemes meticulously, Jayalalithaa has gone a step further by enlarging the pool of beneficiaries across India – clearly the first concrete step in declaring her prime ministerial ambitions.

The 45 page manifesto of AIADMK party released on Tuesday,  listed all the social welfare schemes (read freebies) and their success in Tamil Nadu and contained a promise that the party would ensure that these schemes were extended all over India. “The AIADMK will ensure the implementation of the above laudable schemes at the All India level,” the AIADMK said in the party manifesto.

Here are some of the goodies that are distributed to different beneficiaries belonging to the weaker sections of the society: free mixers, grinders, fans to house holds, free laptops, cycles and text books and school fees, geometry boxes, crayons, note books, school bags and footwear to students from poor and the weaker sections, cash and gold marriage assistance to girls from poor families who have studied upto class XII. Then free bus travel, educational cash incentives for students of government run schools and government aided schools.

Family health insurance cover of Rs. 1 lakh per year, better health care, and social welfare schemes to protect the downtrodden.

Jayalalithaa, has also thought about the entertainment needs of the people and has promised subsidized cable TV service.

A supreme court advise to the political parties to frame guidelines on freebies following a petition by a lawyer challenging freebies has not deterred Jayalalithaa from raining promises of free this and free that in the manifesto that seeks to maximize Jayalalithaa’s appeal to the masses.


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