While DMK manifesto attempts to absolve anti-Hindu, anti-god allegations label, it promises unviable and already committed but not fulfilled ones.
In Tamil Nadu it is literally raining on voters where polling will take place on 6th April in a single phase along with by-poll to Nagercoil Lok Sabha constituency. Most of the DMK promises, according to PMK, BJP, MNM, are cut paste of theirs. On Saturday DMK chief M K Stalin unveiled the party’s vision document, after placing it in his father’s memorial . In its, the party sought, to dispel the charges of being “anti-Hindu” by announcing to allot Rs.1,000 crores for restoration and consecration of temples. It also promises to allot Rs200 crore for restoring churches and mosques (already funds from HR and CE are being diverted to them). DMK promises organize spiritual tours to respect the sentiments of Hindus . “ every year one lakh devotees will be selected for a tour to Rameswaram, Varanasi, Kedarnath, Badrinath, Tirupathi and Jagannath temple in Puri. Each devotee will be given Rs.25,000 towards this purpose”.
Isha Foundation founder Jaggi Vasudev hailed this decision and expressed his gratitude for the same. Former Union Minister T R Baalu justifying this decision, said “we are secular and have faith in the dictum of ‘One God and One Race’. We are rationalists and never behave like barbarians. There is an opinion that we are anti-Hindu and anti-Brahmin”. DMK promises a rope car facility in all hill temples besides improving transport facilities and modernized lodgings. It has a lot of populist measures like “ Rs.4,000 for ration card holders affected by Covid-19 and a freeze on property tax revision till economy revives, 12 months maternity leave, Rs.24,000 to expectant mothers, education loan waiver for students up to 30 years, Rs.100 subsidy for each LPG cylinder, petro price to be slashed by Rs.5 a litre, diesel by Rs.4, the monthly billing cycle for electricity, waiver of short and medium-term farm loans, fishermen will be brought under ST community, the revival of Sethu Samudram project, generation of 5.5 lakh jobs, Mandarin, French, German, Russian, Arabic, Spanish and Japanese will be taught in colleges and universities ( but not rashtra bhasha Hindi).
DMK assures setting up of special courts to try corruption charges against AIADMK ministers, a law to repeal NEET, restoration of an old pension scheme for government servants, will urge the Centre to increase the annual income ceiling to 25 lakh to determine the creamy layer for central government institutions, 40 per cent reservation in for women in government jobs”. It promised it fight against the CAA, Stalin said his party would continue to urge the Union government to scrap the CAA amendment. Taking a cue from PMK, DMK promised an exclusive budget for the agriculture sector. It will urge the Centre to announce “Tirukkural a national work”. DMK promises a 75 job quota for son of soil besides legislation to earmark 75 per cent jobs in industrial for locals and press quota in private sector. Crop and jewel loans ( upto 5 sovereigns) of small and marginal farmers in cooperative banks, pending loans of women Self- help groups in Co-operative institutions. Fare free travel for women in buses, free computer tablet, setting up Kalaignar Unavagam (eateries) . DMK assures that it would urge the Centre to include Sri Lanka in its CAA act 2019 , steps to retrieve Katcha Theevu islet from Sri Lanka to protect TN fisher folk. It will approach the Centre to make Tirukkural, a Tamil classic of short couplets, a national textbook.
Senior journalist Senkottai Sri Ram said “ DMK tries to fool the people once again. During Karunanidhi’s period Kaccha Theeve was given to Sri Lanka that was the root cause even now for fishermen’s plight. DMK had promised in its 2006 manifesto of making Tirukkural a national textbook. It was in power both at the state and Centre but did not do anything. Now in 2021 again re-promises the same. NEET is concerned, it is a Supreme Court direction. Barring Tamil Nadu politicians, all other states have implemented it. “ the idea of NEET was introduced first in the year 2011 by the UPA government in which DMK was a partner. In 2016 the SC has rejected pleas of state governments and minority institutions to allow them to hold separate entrance tests for MBBS and BDS courses for the academic year 2016-17 saying only NEET provides for conducting such test for admission in these courses”, he pointed out.
Sri Ram said, “DMK promises to implement Tamil a compulsory subject in Central run schools and state government-run schools up to 8th standard. Stalin did not study the NEP which makes the same promise. DMK had opposed NEP accusing imposition of Hindu”. He explained that the 128 pages of DMK’s detailed vision document contain 502 promises. “ A 95 pages collection in separate booklet will be distributed to districts detailing the promises to be implemented in their districts and a 24 pages book let entitled “ pearls of pearl ( muthana Muthugal) a concise form. Strangely, DMK did not give details of resources to implement its populist measures including freebies which drain on exchequer. In all probabilities, they will remain only on paper as already state coffers are empty and in deep debt trap” he said
On Sunday, Chief Minister Edapadi K Palaniswamy has released AIADMK’s poll promises with slew of more schemes to satisfy people. He said, “to ensure economic equality in society, for every family, Rs.1,500 per month would be given to women heads of families, six cost-free LPG cylinders etc. ”. “In fact DMK got wind of our promises and announced Rs.1000 cash aid to women, a week before us. Most of their promises are copied from us” he claimed. AIADMK also promised 150 days’ work under MGNREGA as against 100 days, free 2GB data for college students throughout the year, waiver of educational loans, steps to scale down soaring fuel prices, increase in maternity leave period to 12 months, hike in pension for the differently-abled and old age pensioners, coaching cum training facilities for UPSC, NEET, IIT-JEE, TNPSC aspirants, a government job per family. It also says “will take sincere efforts to convince the Centre to drop CAA act of 2019”.
In the budget presented by Deputy CM and Finance Minister O Panneerselvam, the overall debt outstanding as on March 31, 2021 is estimated to be Rs. 4,85,502.54 crores and in March next it would be Rs. 5,70,189.29 cr. The fiscal deficit in the revised estimates 2020-21 is expected to widen to Rs. 96,889.97 cr. which is 4.99 per cent of the Gross State Domestic product. While being so, how the next government is going to implement its populist cash intensive measures which is to be seen.