It's all about politics of rice in TN
The electioneering for the May 8 assembly polls has undergone a sudden sea change with the campaign revolving round the politics of rice.
It all started with the DMK's promise to supply rice at Rs two per kg, which was described as 'impractical' by the Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa.
But sensing the people's response to the promise, Jayalalithaa was quick to assure them that if her party was voted back to power, she would arrange for supply of 10 kgs of rice free of cost for every 20 kgs purchased.
However, her promise cannot match the assurance given by the Desiya Murpokku Dravidar Kazhagam Chief Vijaykant, who has promised 15 kg of rice free of cost.
With electioneering gaining momentum, all other issues have been put on the backburner and the politics of rice has come to occupy centre stage.
However, this is nothing new to the state. DMK founder CN Annadurai, during the 1967 assembly polls, assured three measures of rice (approximately 4 kg) at Rs one per kg. 'Munru padi latchiyam, oru padi nichayam (Three measures is our goal, but one measure per one rupee is a surety). If we do not fulfill the promise, you have every liberty to whip us', he told the electorate.
This promise turned the tables against the Congress, which was then in power.
AIADMK founder the late MG Ramachandran saw to it that the price of rice supplied through the Public Distribution system was not raised during his tenure as Chief Minister. He even went on a fast, demanding more allocation of rice to the state from the central pool.