DMK gift to women?s lib: Free TV
Women in India, most would agree, are an underprivileged lot. The deprivations they suffer are numerous — lack of education, nutrition, liberation and… television, at least according to the DMK.
Should it win the assembly elections, the Karunanidhi-led party has promised a free colour TV set to every household without a television at present. And, the gift has a noble aim — to provide quality entertainment to the state's women and improve their general knowledge, says the DMK election manifesto released here on Wednesday.
With the AIADMK government's free cycle and textbooks to school students proving a major hit, the DMK needed to catch the voters' attention and hence the TV promise. But critics are already carping that the TVs would be pre-tuned to receive only the Sun TV channels.
The DMK bag of goodies includes promises of job reservation for Muslims and Christians in the government sector and regularisation of all unauthorised houses constructed in various towns and cities. Neither would the party implement the VAT regime, the manifesto stat ed. Another assurance, of reviving the legislative council, is aimed at aspirants denied tickets.
Other freebies promised include free gas stoves to poor households, reduction in the price of rice sold through the PDS from Rs.3.50 to Rs. 2 per kg, two eggs per week per child as part of the midday meal scheme, two acres of free land to the landless, writing off all co-operative loans for farmers, reduction in tuition fee for college students, a dole of Rs 330 for unemployed graduates and free power for weavers. It's another matter how DMK president M. Karunanidhi, who had asked Jayalalithaa how she planned to finance her freebies, generates funds to implement his promised schemes.
Meanwhile, MDMK chief Vaiko’s name was missing in the list of 35 candidates released on Wednesday. Another candidate was announced for his constituency, Sivakasi.