DMK patriarch and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Wednesday launched his campaign from his home turf for the April 13 Assembly elections, promising more freebies than listed in the party's manifesto.
Karunanidhi, who will be contesting from Tiruvarur, shifting from Chepauk in Chennai, said the DMK, if voted back to power, would give free laptops to all students, going beyond the promise in the manifesto that it would be given only to OBCs, SCs and STs.
The response to the promised scheme in the past four days was tremendous, which emboldened him to expand it, he said.
He said all citizens who had attained the age of 58 would be considered senior citizens and will be eligible for free bus travel in the state while the manifesto had stated it was only for those aged above 60.
He said the DMK, if returned to power, would do more than it had promised in the manifesto, pointing out that the scheme to replace huts with concrete houses now under implementation was not promised in 2006, when his party was voted to power.
Karunanidhi, who has never lost any election since his maiden entry to the state assembly from Kulithali in 1957, said he had so far not got an opportunity to contest from Tiruvarur, where he had spent his childhood as it was a reserved seat.
With the seat getting dereserved, he did not lose the opportunity of contesting it now at the age of 86, he said.
Karunanidhi said he would be filing his papers on Thursday.
He said the DMK-led alliance, which includes Congress, was not linked by the "desire for position", but by principles and ethos.
TNCC President K V Thangkabalu, PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss and VCK General Secretary Tol Thirumavalavan were among those who addressed the public meeting.