It's raining sops! AIADMK promises free washing machines, cable connection
- The AIADMK manifesto comes a day after the principal opposition the DMK released its election manifesto. Both bore several similarities.
The ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) released its election manifesto on Sunday to seek a third consecutive term in Tamil Nadu’s April 6 assembly elections by promising free washing machines, offering dual citizenship to Sri Lankan refugees and pledging free housing to people.
The AIADMK, an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party, said it would urge the Centre to scrap the Citizenship Amendment Act and work to bring education to the state list from the concurrent list of the Constitution.
While the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has vowed to abolish the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), the AIADMK has offered providing training to students appearing for competitive exams such as NEET, UPSC and JEE. NEET is an emotional issue in the state as several students have died by suicide either because they failed to clear the exam or they feared they couldn’t realise their aspirations of studying medicine.
The AIADMK manifesto, coming a day after the DMK released its poll promises, bore several similarities. Both parties have tried to appeal to youngsters, women and the Tamil sentiment.
Increase in maternity leave for women government employees from nine months to one year and construction of new buildings with modern medical facilities for about 2,000 Amma Mini Clinics also found mention in the AIADMK manifesto.
To those who don’t own houses, the AIADMK has promised building and providing houses free of cost in rural and urban areas under the ‘Amma Illam Thittam’ (Amma Housing Scheme) and interest on housing loans availed from cooperative housing societies would be waived on loan repayment.
It also said that ₹1,500 per month would be disbursed to all ration card holders and the amount would be credited to bank accounts of woman family heads, senior AIADMK leader C Ponnaiyan said.
While the DMK retained its 2016 assembly poll promise of free tablets with internet for students, the AIADMK has promised 2G data to students. The AIADMK has also promised to lower fuel prices.
Keeping the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils alive, the AIADMK manifesto promised steps to ensure dual citizenship and voting rights for Sri Lankan Tamil refugees.
“Both manifestos are meant to attract voters which they have but compared to DMK’s manifesto, the AIADMK has more sops,” said J Jeyaranjan, who researches political economy of Tamil Nadu.
After releasing the manifesto, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said the party has ensured protection for farmers and students through loan waivers.