In a bid to project a national outlook, the DMK manifesto for the upcoming LS poll shows the party has come a long way from being an outfit wedded to sub-regional Tamil identity. A close look at the document reveals that it holds similar views as the ruling AIADMK on many vital issues. Also, on certain key issues, the AIADMK has taken the lead in its manifesto, while the DMK has made ‘improvised promises’ on them.
Both the Dravidian majors have promised retrieval of Katchatheevu, making Tamil an official language of the Centre, nationalisation and inter-interlinking of rivers, establishing power grids, devolution of funds to states, rescinding FDI in retail, oil pricing and setting up of the Cauvery Management Board and Cauvery Regulation Committee.
In order to ensure prosperity of fishermen, the AIADMK has promised to modernise fishing harbours in Kasimedu, Cuddalore, Puducherry, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Pudukkottai, Ramanathapuram, Kanyakumari and Thoothukudi. For its part, the DMK has said it would press the Centre to establish fishing ports in these areas.
While the AIADMK says the National Fishermen Saving cum Relief Scheme would be revamped, the DMK is for setting up of a National Commission for their welfare.
Creation of 10 crore new jobs is a promise by the AIADMK, while the DMK talks about appointing 10 lakh women as people’s welfare workers and 10 lakh men as road workers. With the AIADMK promising to waive the entire interest on crop loans, the DMK is for waiver of all loans obtained by small farmers. On the Lankan Tamils issue, the AIADMK stands for the United Nations-sponsored referendum for establishing a separate Eelam, while the DMK calls for a “political solution” through the world body, besides stressing on the implementation of the 13th Amendment.