The DMK in its manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections has promised waiver of loans to farmers, creation of one crore jobs for youths by engaging them in maintenance of highways, restoration of autonomy of Constitutional institutions like the judiciary, the RBI, the CAG, CBI and the ED and of course a probe into the Rafale deal by Joint Parliament Committee (JPC).
It has also promised rationalization of the GST whose peak rate is 28 per cent. Specifically addressing Tamil Nadu’s concerns, it says it will strive to make the Cauvery delta a protected agricultural zone and scrap hydrocarbon projects in the region which activists say will harm agriculture by polluting water.
It says a separate Ministry for Agriculture will be created and an experts committee will be set up to find means to revive the economy. It has also said the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme will promise jobs for 150 days from the present 100 days and the wage will also be upped to Rs 150 from the present Rs 100.
It has said Rs 50, 000 will be given as interest-free loan to women below the poverty line to start small businesses. To woo middle class, it says it will work for raising the income tax exemption limit to eight lakhs a year from the present five lakhs and to ten lakhs for differently abled women.
It has said it is for extending reservation in jobs to private sector, a promise which will not stand judicial scrutiny. It has promised to get 50 lakh absorbed by private companies at a salary of Rs 10, 000 a month as part of corporate social responsibility.
The 76-page manifesto released by party president M K Stalin in Chennai on Tuesday, says it will work to take education from the Concurrent to the State list, scrap the NEET examination for admission to medical colleges and also restore autonomy to the UGC.
The DMK has also said it for restoration of the old pension scheme for Central Government employees. It promises 50 per cent share for Sates in Central revenue and the Inter-State Council will decide on powers of the finance commission.
It also promises to scrap the BJP Government’s direct subsidy to users of LPG cylinders and restore administered price mechanism for cooking gas, petroleum and diesel.
The DMK also is for making Tamil co-official language not only in State but also Central Government offices in the State and in nationalized banks within the State.
It will strive to make Tamil court language up to High Court level. Another promise which goes against the collegium system is to work for reservation in appointment of judges. It also goes against its promise to restore autonomy to the judiciary, something it says the BJP regime had undermined.
The party says the metro rail will be extended to other metros in Tamil Nadu like Madurai, Tiruchi, Salem and Coimbatore.
It has promised Indian citizenship for Sri Lankan refugees who have been living in Tamil Nadu for years. Restoration of Kachchativu from Sri Lanka was another demand made by DMK in the manifesto. Sethu Canal project, which is in limbo for years, will be revived, the manifesto said.