Jayalalithaa defends shower of freebies in AIADMK manifesto, says party is 'pro-poor'

Defending her promises of freebies in the AIADMK manifesto, party supremo Jayalalithaa said such schemes are intended to 'uplift' the disadvantaged.

PTI May 09, 2016 10:23:50 IST
Jayalalithaa defends shower of freebies in AIADMK manifesto, says party is 'pro-poor'

Thanjavur: Defending her promises of freebies like mobile phones, set-top boxes, 50 percent subsidy for women to buy scooters and mopeds in the AIADMK manifesto, party supremo Jayalalithaa on Sunday said such schemes are intended to "uplift" the disadvantaged, as her party is "pro-poor".

"I do agree we have announced that we have promised freebie schemes. It is because the AIADMK party led by me is always on the side of the poor," she said at an election rally while referring to Opposition's criticism over it.

Jayalalithaa defends shower of freebies in AIADMK manifesto says party is propoor

Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa. AFP

"Such schemes are for uplifting the poor people, to help them stand on their own legs and earn," the Tamil Nadu chief minister said, adding, the poll promises were intended to fulfil people's expectations.

Reiterating that she does not have "selfishness" or a family, she lashed out at DMK, without naming it by stating that "I do not have any idea to usurp crores of rupees as cable TV service charges by giving free TV sets."

DMK had given free colour TVs after it assumed power in 2006 and it faced falk from the Opposition that the scheme was for "collecting cable TV fee" by an MSO run by those in the extended family of Karunanidhi.

Citing criticism by Opposition parties like DMK that her poll promises, including freebies, were intended to "hoodwink people" and could not be implemented, the AIADMK chief said that she gave any assurance only after thoroughly analysing it, "not for 100 times but for 1,000 times."

"I give you my assurance that I will implement all our poll promises. Those who oppose our election manifesto which is aimed at people's welfare are truly against them."

She also used the opportunity to answer opposition's criticism over "delayed" release of manifesto on 5 May, saying they did not have any achievements to speak of and were so going to the people with their poll promises alone.

However, she had to first tell people of her government's achievements. "Since we had to speak of our achievements,I did not release the manifesto before my election campaign started."

Jayalalithaa started her campaign on 9 April.

In her party manifesto, she had promised free mobile phones, set-top boxes to state-run Arasu cable subscribers, free internet along with free laptops for students and wi-fi in public places.

For women, she had announced 50 per cent subsidy on mopeds or scooters and also promised more gold — eight grams from the present four grams — under "Thallikku Thangam" (gold for mangalsutra) scheme.

For farmers, she had announced loan waiver and assured 100 units of free electricity to households.

Updated Date:

also read

International Day of Yoga 2021: Narendra Modi, Ram Nath Kovind, Union ministers lead celebrations
India

International Day of Yoga 2021: Narendra Modi, Ram Nath Kovind, Union ministers lead celebrations

Narendra Modi led the celebrations calling yoga a 'ray of hope' as the world fights COVID-19, while President Ram Nath Kovind called yoga 'India's gift to the world'

Explainer: Why Sasikala is facing opposition in attempting a return to AIADMK
Politics

Explainer: Why Sasikala is facing opposition in attempting a return to AIADMK

Post-poll, apart from sitting in opposition after a decade of rule, the AIADMK is beset with the issue of alleged leaked audiotapes purportedly of Sasikala, where she has hinting at her return to politics

BJP got largest share of electoral trust funding in 2019-20; TRS, Shiv Sena among other top recipients
Politics

BJP got largest share of electoral trust funding in 2019-20; TRS, Shiv Sena among other top recipients

The Congress received total donations of Rs 58 crore from electoral trusts, which was less than several regional parties