The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) released its manifesto for the Lok Sabha election on Tuesday, a day after the party — in an alliance with the Congress in Tamil Nadu — released its first list of 20 candidates.
In the manifesto, the MK Stalin-led party has promised the electorate that efforts will be made to release all seven of the convicts imprisoned for the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. The party also promised all Sri Lankan refugees citizenship, according to reports.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who cemented an alliance with DMK in February, had said at a rally recently that he harboured no hatred towards the convicts of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, and asserted that it was for the courts to decide on their release.
The Congress chief, who was in the state for a day to launch the United Progressive Alliance's campaign on 13 March, said the assassination of his father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 had two aspects. "While one was personal, which we have dealt with, the other was the legal issue, which has to take its course. Whatever course the legal issue takes, we are happy with it," he said.
Other promises in the DMK's manifesto include "the inter-connection of South Indian rivers, the abolition of the NEET and the waiver of education loans."
— News18 (@CNNnews18) March 19, 2019
The DMK also said that a CBI probe into the Kodanadu Estate heist case will be conducted, along with a promise for full-fledged statehood for Puducherry. The party also took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's much-debated demonetisation, saying in its manifesto that compensation will be given to those who suffered due to the move to make notes Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 void.
Additionally, the DMK promised to resume the Sethu Samudhram project, and also keep petrol and diesel prices under control. "Besides, administration pricing mechanism will be implemented and a law will be formulated to curb human trafficking," a News18 report said, quoting the manifesto.
In the first list of candidates released on Monday, the party fielded former Union telecom ministers Dayanidhi Maran and A Raja — who were prime accused in 2G spectrum case — among 20 names.
Maran will contest from Central Chennai, while Raja has been fielded from Nilgiris. Raja and Maran had unsuccessfully contested these seats in 2014. The alleged scam, in which two are the accused, relates to the allocation of 2G spectrum licenses in 2007-08, which according to the Comptroller and Auditor General report, caused a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the public exchequer.
Rajya Sabha MP and the daughter of late DMK chief M Karunanidhi, Kanimozhi will also contest from Tuticorin. While senior leader TR Balu is returning as a DMK candidate from Sriperumbudur, which he won in 2009.
Other candidates include Kalanithi Veeraswamy from Chennai North, Tamiyachi Thangapandiya from Chennai South, Selvam from Kancheepuram and Tenkasi from Dhanush Kumar. DMK will contest 20 out of 39 seats in Tamil Nadu, while its ally Congress will contest nine seats and also the lone seat in Puducherry.
Meanwhile, the BJP has joined the ruling AIADMK and PMK in Tamil Nadu.
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Updated Date: Mar 19, 2019 12:20:19 IST