CHENNAI: There’s no dearth of masala in the poll season. The election manifesto of TTV Dhinakaran’s AMMK promises to “immediately shut down” all liquor manufacturing units in the State. Interestingly, most of these units are owned by or linked to senior politicians and their relatives. The Midas Golden Distilleries, for instance, a major supplier to the State-run TASMAC, is owned by relatives of jailed AMMK leader VK Sasikala.
AMMK’s manifesto, however, does not talk about implementing prohibition in the State, but only about the closure of manufacturing units. Why so? Won’t liquor still be procured from neighbouring States? “If we say we will close down factories, it’s implied that we will close down the shops too,” says Thanga Tamilselvan, propaganda secretary of AMMK, speaking to Express.
The party has also promised to set up rehabilitation centres to deal with alcohol addiction. AMMK’s manifesto, otherwise, had several similarities to that of DMK and the AIADMK — it promised to abolish NEET, release Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convicts, and waiver of farm and education loans.
While both Dravidian majors failed to make a mention of the Sterlite issue in their manifesto, the AMMK has promised not to allow projects that pose a threat to lives, environment and farm lands. Other tall promises made in the AMMK manifesto include 85% reservation in Central government jobs for those domiciled in TN, 33% reservation for women in Parliament and Assemblies, creation of more jobs in the MSME sector, and interest-free wedding loans for those working in the private sector.