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DMK chief M. Karunanidhi releases his party’s manifesto for Tamil Nadu legislative assembly elections 2016 at party head quarters in Chennai on Sunday. Photo: PTI
DMK chief M. Karunanidhi releases his party’s manifesto for Tamil Nadu legislative assembly elections 2016 at party head quarters in Chennai on Sunday. Photo: PTI

DMK election manifesto promises blanket liquor ban in Tamil Nadu

In the manifesto, Karunanidhi also promised an exclusive state budget for agriculture and a separate minister for water management and irrigation

Chennai: A day after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and head of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) J. Jayalalithaa promised liquor prohibition in a phased manner during her poll campaign, arch-rival Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) followed suit and promised complete prohibition in its election manifesto released on Sunday.

Party chief M. Karunanidhi also promised to set up a Lok Ayukta, an anti-corruption watchdog, in the state.

“I won’t say we will enforce prohibition in stages. We will enforce it," said Karunanidhi, promising alternative employment for the employees of The Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation or Tasmac, the state-owned retail vendor of alcoholic beverages and rehabilitation for alcohol addicts.

Jayalalithaa on Saturday said that total prohibition cannot be implemented in one go. “It should be implemented gradually," she said.

In the manifesto, Karunanidhi also promised an exclusive state budget for agriculture and a separate minister for water management and irrigation. The DMK has also proposed to extend the rural job scheme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, from 100 to 150 days.

“All lakes/water bodies to be desilted at 10,000 crore," said Karunanidhi. The manifesto also included a promise to build 200 check-dams by spending 2,000 crore to prevent flooding. Revival of the shipping canal project Sethusamudram has also been promised.

The party’s manifesto promised to waive agriculture and education loans. Promising uninterrupted electricity, the manifesto assured single window clearance in 100 days for setting up industries and promised one lakh new jobs every year.

The DMK promised withdrawal of all defamation cases. The principal sessions court in Chennai and other district courts has more than 150 criminal defamation cases filed by the state government against opposition, journalists and media houses for “criticizing" the Jayalalithaa government.

Karunanidhi said that all the cases slapped on activists protesting against the Kudankulam nuclear project will be withdrawn.

Targeting the low-income group and middle class, the manifesto promised 20 kg free rice per month and 3 lakh subsidy for construction of concrete houses for low income groups.

The DMK which finalized seat sharing with the Congress on 4 April allotted 41 seats to the latter. Other minor parties that are part of the alliance have also been assigned seats.

DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin on Friday surprised everyone by launching a door-to-door election campaign at chief minister Jayalalithaa’s R.K. Nagar constituency in Chennai.

“I wanted to pre-empt the chief minister who will be launching her campaign on Saturday. I have started here because it is a VIP constituency," said Stalin, who also distributed pamphlets.

The AIADMK is expected to announce its manifesto soon.

The DMK is yet to announce the party’s candidate list.

Elections to the 234-seat Tamil Nadu assembly will be held on 16 May.

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