DMK promises prohibition, to slash milk prices

Chennai: DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Sunday promised prohibition in Tamil Nadu if his party returned to power in the southern state after the May 16 assembly elections as well as reduction in milk price by Rs.7 per litre, and setting up of Anna canteens.

Releasing his party's poll manifesto at the DMK headquarters here, he also promised setting up of industrial corridors, scheme for flood prevention and constitution of the legislative council or the upper house of the assembly.

According to DMK to ensure economic development in the rural areas, concentration should be on agriculture, building rural infrastructure, and making available basic education in rural areas.

"To achieve this target, a sound marketing system should be evolved to sell all rural products like agricultural produce, handicrafts, handloom apparels, fruits and vegetables at a fair and reasonable price, and augmentation of water supply for both farming and drinking by strengthening and de-silting of water bodies, and simplified procedure for availing of loans by farmers, are to be implemented," the manifesto states.

Contrary to expectations, Karunanidhi did not promise any fresh free consumer durables on a large scale, as done by the party in 2006 when it promised free colour televisions or the current AIADMK government that gave free fans, grinders, laptop, cattle and others.

On the other hand, continuing the AIADMK's government's free laptop for students scheme, DMK also promised laptops or tablets with internet facility in 3G/4G technology with 10GB per month download usage will be given at government expenses for 16 lakh students studying in higher secondary schools and colleges in the state.

Speaking about the liquor ban, Karunanidhi said appropriate measures would be taken to compensate the state's revenue loss.

Law will be enacted for enforcing prohibition in Tamil Nadu. The employees of TASMAC - the state liquor retail chain - will be redeployed, the DMK said.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK president J. Jayalalithaa on Saturday had promised liquor prohibition in phases if her party retained power in the state.

Karunanidhi said rehabilitation centres will be set up for liquor addicts.

The DMK also promised:

- Jobs for 100,000 people through employment exchanges

- Monthly reading of the power meters instead of once in two months

- Industrial corridors in Madurai-Tuticorin and Chennai-Hosur belts

- 20 kg free rice to the poor

- Steps to write off education loan dues

- Single window clearance for industries

- Setting up of pay commission for state government employees to bring their salaries at par with central government staff

- Medical colleges in districts where there are none

- Withdrawal of defamation cases filed against journalists and setting up of welfare board for journalists

- Grievance redressal meetings at all assembly constituencies once in three months

- Desalination plants in all coastal districts

- Rs.300,000 subsidy for converting thatched houses into concrete houses

- Withdrawal of all cases filed against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project protestors

- Preference in government jobs to first graduate in a family

- Free bus passes for those over 60 years of age

- Three-phased power connection for agriculture

- Issuance of ration cards and smart cards in 15 days

- Legislation for establishing Water Management Authority for repairing all water ways, tanks and reservoirs in Tamil Nadu, to prevent and remove encroachments

- Additional 50 days' work along with 100 days provided under Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act. Under the new state law, workers to be used only for agricultural operation during crop seasons.

- Pressing for creating four Regional Courts of Appeal and urge court of appeal of the southern region be established in Tamil Nadu

- to be supplied in the mornings to elementary schools students in addition to the Nutritious Meal Scheme.

- Bus fare which was raised haphazardly during the ADMK rule will be rationalized and uniform fares based on distance will be fixed in government buses throughout Tamil Nadu.

- Efforts will be taken for setting up the second space research centre in Tamil Nadu

- Efforts will be made for setting up the second Rocket Launching Centre of ISRO in Kulasekarapattinam in Tirunelveli district and India Space Liquid Propulsion System Centre in Tirunelveli district.

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