DMK's manifesto

Seeking to woo the electorate again with promise of more freebies, ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu said it would distribute free mixies or grinders to women, free laptops to SC/ST students and free rice of 35 kg to BPL families if voted back to power. In the election manifesto released by DMK chief M Karunanidhi, the party also promised free bus travel to senior citizens besides free laptops to SC, ST and backward class students of government and governmentaided colleges. The manifesto also promised continuation of all welfare schemes implemented by the DMK government including free distribution of colour TVs and Re 1 per kg of rice. In a bid to reach out to the fisherfolk, DMK promised to implement an insurance scheme in the event of their vocation being affected due to natural calamities. This is in line with a similar existing crop insurance scheme. The party further promised to increase to 2000 lts and 500 lts respectively the subsidised diesel and kerosene per month for mechanised and non-mechanised trawlers. Efforts will be taken to promote sea farming, the manifesto said. DMK will take up efforts to retrieve the contentious Katchatheevu, an islet ceded to Sri Lanka by India by way of an accord in 1974. The party promised to implement a scheme wherein doctors would visit homes of senior citizens confined indoors and treat them. Holding that nationalisation of rivers alone would end interstate water disputes, the party will strive for this, Karunanidhi said adding DMK will stress on inter-linking of southern rivers as a first step. While the party promised to strive for more foreign direct investments towards developing the less-industrialised southern districts, it however opposed FDI in retail business, saying it would affect "crores of small traders." "We will press the Centre to ban future trading as it is responsible for food inflation and shortage," the manifesto said. In the 2006 assembly polls, DMK's manifesto promising free colour TV, waiver of cooperative farm loans and one rupee rice scheme was instrumental in the party's victory. Union home minister P Chidambaram had then described it as 'hero' of the polls.

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