TN Cong manifesto ‘shoots’ at NEET, liquor shops; sops for startups

State party chief Alagiri also promises govt jobs for 500 youths from each district

DMK-Congress
MK Stalin, KS Alagiri and Dinesh Gundu Rao with the agreement paper on seat-sharing for TN polls | File Photo: PTI

The Congress in its poll manifesto for Tamil Nadu has promised steps to close liquor shops, a five-year tax exemption for startups and laws to protect inter-caste couples. The party has also promised to abolish the NEET exams, agencies reported.

Polls for the 234-member 16th Tamil Nadu Assembly are due on April 6.

State Congress president KS Alagiri while releasing the manifesto on Tuesday (March 16) said 500 youths would be trained in every district for government jobs. “We will implement schemes for providing employment to the youth. We will also provide tax exemption for startups and new entrepreneurs for at least five years,” Alagiri said.

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The party on Saturday (March 13) night released a list of its 21 candidates for the state polls. The Congress is an ally of DMK, the principal opposition party in the state. The list was issued after a meeting of the Congress’ central election committee chaired by Sonia Gandhi. The party is contesting 25 seats, with the DMK fighting on a majority of the constituencies.

The DMK manifesto released on Saturday also promised to abolish medical exam National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), cut fuel prices and and provide 75% reservation in jobs for the locals among others.

MK Stalin who released the poll promises said his party would bring down petrol and diesel rates by ₹5 per litre and ₹4 per litre respectively and the price of Aavin milk by ₹3 per litre if it wins the assembly polls. Stalin also said the DMK will provide ₹100 subsidy per LPG cylinder.

The Congress had contested 41 assembly seats in the last assembly polls.

Also read: TN polls: Movable assets of OPS, Dhinakaran go up

The AIADMK led by late J Jayalalithaa had returned to power in 2016 for a consecutive term. The state had been voting against the ruling party since the 1980s before Jayalalithaa broke the trend. The BJP is in alliance with the ruling AIADMK and has released a list of 17 candidates.

Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan has been trying to project a third front. He has filed his papers from Coimbatore South constituency. “Politics is not my profession like others. Politics is my duty, with honesty,” he said after filing his papers.

He also released the second list of 43 party candidates which included veteran politician Pazha Karuppiah and yesteryear actor Sripriya who had paired with Haasan in many films in the 70s and 80s. The MNM is contesting 154 seats and has kept the remaining seats for its two allies — the All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi (AISMK) and the Indhiya Jananayaka Katchi (IJK).

Also read: Mega Dravidian clash with ‘BJP subtitles’ in single-phase TN polls

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