The 'promising' world of Tamil Nadu politics: From freebies to bans, here are some pre-poll pledges

'Tis the season for poll promises.

It's that time of the year again, when politicians are busy making promises for the people before the elections, some of which are productive, some counter-productive and some downright outlandish.

From promising freebies like mobile phones to promising the return of the controversial bull-taming sport Jallikattu, political parties in Tamil Nadu have left no stone unturned in their attempt to please the voters.

Here are the significant and not-so-significant-but-absurd poll promises made by the major political parties for the Tamil Nadu Assembly election 2016:

BJP's promise of return of Jallikattu

BJP promised the return of Jallikattu. AFP

BJP promised the return of Jallikattu. AFP

What is the one thing you will not expect from a party that is so obsessed with protection of cows that a large number of its party leaders want a nationwide ban on cow slaughter and beef is banned in many of the states ruled by that party?

BJP defined irony when it promised the return of the bull-taming sport Jallikattu from next year.

According to PETA, terrified bulls during Jallikattu are often deliberately disoriented by being given substances like alcohol, having their tails twisted and bitten, being stabbed and jabbed by sickles, spears, knives or sticks and being punched, jumped on and dragged to the ground.

It seems BJP has adopted this perspective when it comes to Jallikattu:



Most of the major parties in Tamil Nadu have promised prohibition. News18

Most of the major parties in Tamil Nadu have promised prohibition. News18

One of the biggest issues of Tamil Nadu elections 2016 is prohibition of the sale of alcohol. Most of the major parties have promised complete prohibition in the state.

In fact, DMK has promised prohibition in one go if it comes to power in the state. "What is that gradual prohibition? We don’t accept that. We are for total prohibition," The Hindu quoted DMK chief M Karunanidhi as saying.

AIADMK also announced prohibition in the state, though in a phased manner, PTI had reported.

As expected, DMK ally Congress also said that it would implement prohibition.

To realise how important the issue of prohibition actually is in Tamil Nadu, remember the fact that the following video (which uses images of Charlie Chaplin quite frequently) is an entire song making fun of Jayalalithaa on the issue of prohibition which had gone viral recently:

The curious case of Captain Vijayakanth

Captain Vijayakanth has made some of the most entertaining poll promises this year. News18

Captain Vijayakanth has made some of the most entertaining poll promises this year. News18

DMDK chief Vijayaraj Naidu aka Captain Vijayakanth's promises are so entertaining that we decided to devote an entire section to them.

Vijayakanth has promised a week's celebration for the Pongal festival with public holiday for all schools and government sets-up.

He also showed his promising command over economics when he claimed that prices of petroleum products among other things will be brought down, with petrol's fixed at Rs 45 and that of diesel Rs 35.

And why bring technology and experts to India to assist farmers? The Captain has also claimed that at least 5,000 farmers will be sent abroad every year to learn latest techniques in farming.

The income of a family of each of the 12,620 villages will be increased to Rs 25,000 per month. How? Well, the Captain aims to build a total of 1,120 theaters and 1,12,000 shops across the state to achieve that number.

In short, the great Captain's mind-blowing leadership skills can be described in this way:


Freebies, waivers

Elections are the time of making promises about freebies.

Elections are the time of making promises about freebies.

Elections in India won't be half as entertaining if the politicians did not promise a few good ol' freebies!

The DMK manifesto has promised waiver of education loans, tablets and laptops with 3G/4G connections and 10 GB per month download option for 16 lakh students, according to The Hindu. It also promised smart phones for poor families. Because, of course, that is what poor families need the most.

The party has also promised a 20 kg free rice per month scheme in the state.

This is not the first time, though, that the DMK is making promises of such outlandish freebies. According to The Indian Express, DMK had in 2006 made promises to provide free colour television sets to the people.


Among the PWF manifesto's highlights is the promise of two acres of land to beneficiaries, including landless farmers and poor people.

Waiver of loans taken by farmers from cooperative and nationalised banks was among the highlights of the Congress manifesto. The same promise was also made by the BJP.

The BJP has also promised freebies of eight gram gold to eligible women in Below Poverty Line category for marriage.

Jayalalithaa's promise of separate homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka

Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa. PTI

Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa. PTI

Taking her attempt to please Tamils abroad a bit too far, CM Jayalalithaa has promised her party would take "continuous steps" to attain a separate homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka and demand that the Centre grant dual citizenship for refugees from the island nation living in the state.

"So as to enable Sri lankan Tamils live with full freedom and self-respect and to attain a separate Eelam, continuous steps will be taken," PTI had quoted her as saying.

"We will urge the central government to confer dual citizenship on Sri Lankan Tamils living here so that they can easily get job opportunities," she had said.

Noting that Sri Lankan Tamils have for long been living in and outside camps in Tamil Nadu, she had said her regime was giving them all facilities.

PWF has also promised that Sri Lankan Tamils living in Tamil Nadu would not be repatriated without their consent.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: May 18, 2016 17:41 PM

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