TRICHY: DMK president MK Stalin on Sunday promised that if the party’s alliance came to power in Tamil Nadu, the women at the head of each household (kudumba thalaivi) would be given Rs 1000 per month as is their ‘rightful’ due.
Stalin, addressing a grand public meeting dubbed ‘Vidiyalukkana Muzhakkam’ (call for dawn) at Siruganur near Tiruchy, articulated his vision for the next decade ahead of the release of the party’s election manifesto on March 11.
Elaborating on the vision, he vowed to develop the State with a focus on seven vital areas namely economy, agriculture, water resources, education and health, urban development, rural infrastructure and social justice.
It was under the category of social justice that Stalin, promising a Tamil Nadu with opportunities for all, announced that women at the head of each household with ration cards will be given Rs. 1000 per month.
“Further, the educational scholarships for SC/ST and OBC students will be doubled,” he said, adding that manual scavenging will be completely abolished.
Speaking on his vision for the State’s economy, Stalin promised that 10 lakh new jobs would be created each year. He added that the lives of 1 crore poor people would be improved. “In 10 years, there won’t be anyone in Tamil Nadu living below the poverty line.”
Under the rural infrastructure category, Stalin said that DMK was determined to build 20 lakh new concrete houses in the next 10 years, taking the percentage of rural Tamils in concrete houses from 57 per cent at present to 85 per cent.
He assured that every household in a village will be provided with piped drinking water and all villages will get broadband connections. Speaking of his vision for urban development, Stalin said a DMK government would give new drinking water connections to 36 lakh households. “Through this, from the present 35 per cent, houses with water connections in urban areas will increase to 75 per cent.”
He added that 9.75 lakh concrete houses will be built for the people living in urban slums.
High-quality education and health for all would be provided by tripling the funds being allocated to these two sectors, he said.
“All the blocks in the State will get one model school and one model government hospital. As a result, people need not travel long distances to access quality education and health care,” he said.
Assuring access to adequate drinking water, Stalin said the availability of water for per capita annual consumption will be increased from 9 lakh litres to 10 lakhs litres. “We will take steps to reduce water wastage from 50 per cent to 15 per cent.”
As for agriculture, Stalin said that an additional 11.75 lakh hectares of land would be made cultivable, increasing the percentage of cultivable lands in Tamil Nadu from 60 per cent to 75 per cent in the next 10 years.
“At present Tamil Nadu has 10 lakh hectares of land under cultivation producing crops in two seasons a year. This will be doubled in 10 years,” he added.
Promising double-digit economic growth in Tamil Nadu in the next 10 years, Stalin said the state would become a Rs 35 lakh crore economy. “Through this, we can achieve a per capita annual income of Rs 4 lakh,” he stated.
“Ours will be a government based on Periyar’s social justice, Anna’s federalism, Kalaignar’s modern development, Kamarajar’s educational development and Jeeva’s equality.”
“Ours will not be a government of a party, rather it will be a government of a race,” he asserted.
Urging the 2 lakh gathered cadres to take these messages to the voters, he said the countdown for change had begun. He also asked the crowd to stand-up and take a pledge vowing to ensure Tamil Nadu’s full rights, to come together and defeat divisive forces and to have a 100 per cent transparent, corruption-free government.
Earlier, Stalin entered the main stage from a ramp cutting through the audience allowing him to wave at the cadres present. The meeting was organised by the party’s principal secretary K N Nehru. Among the speakers were DMK general secretary Duraimurugan and treasurer T R Baalu.