- DMK releases its manifesto.
- Separate budget for agriculture
- Cancellation of schemes like Methane and Neutrino
- Promises ban on NEET examinations
- AIADMK also releases its manifesto.
- Promises ban on NEET
- Release of seven convicts in Rajiv Gandhi case
- Farmer loan waivers
Even as the DMK was releasing its election manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, almost promising the moon, barely 2 kms away, its rival, the AIADMK came out with almost similar promises, prompting one to believe that the contents were leaked out by moles in these parties!
DMK president M K Stalin received loud cheers as he promised abolition of NEET forthwith! Education will be brought back from the Concurrent List to the State List, he announced. Stalin sounded almost Prime Ministerial. The AIADMK too said Education would be brought back to the State list.
Not to be outdone, the AIADMK, which could not persuade its friend, philosopher and guide, the BJP, to relent on the NEET issue last year, promised to exempt students from Tamil Nadu from the purview of NEET for the purpose of medical admissions in the country.
Both the parties assured the release of the seven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, though the BJP and Congress have said they would go by what the Supreme Court orders in the case. The Centre’s stand has been to let the law take its own course. Which means that status quo would prevail, and not the State Cabinet resolutions.
Similarly, both parties wanted an international probe into the alleged war crimes during the war against the LTTE in Sri Lanka.
Both the DMK and the AIADMK said they would take up the demand for Statehood for Puducherry.
While the AIADMK wanted the Centre to link Godavari and Cauvery rivers, the DMK promised to take up the Godavari-Krishna-Cauvery at the earliest. All South Indian rivers should be linked, Stalin said.
Schemes for the poor and the jobless were given priority by both parties.
As regards special schemes, the AIADMK promised a national-level poverty eradication scheme that would grant a sum of ₹1,500 a month for every family below poverty line named after Amma J Jayalalithaa.
“Based on the experience already gained by the AIADMK government in this regard, a direct transfer of Rs 1,500 per month to the targeted population of the poor and the deprived (people below poverty line, destitute women, widows without income, differently-abled, landless agricultural labourers, rural and urban manual labourers, destitute senior citizens etc) should not be difficult to implement,” the party said.
On the other hand, the DMK promised a slew of schemes to provide for employment of at least one person per family, appointment of one crore youth as road workers, reservation in private sector, and jobs to 50 lakh women as people’s welfare workers, besides special projects to remove agrarian distress.
Of special interest is the DMK’s commitment to revive the Sethusamudram canal scheme, and the winding up of the 8-lane Salem-Chennai highway and the Methane project, abolition of toll on national highways, waiver of crop and educational loans, the hike in cable TV charges and restoration of the previous pension scheme for government employees and teachers.