March 19, 2019
Ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu is going all out to woo minorities for the Lok Sabha general elections and more important, the crucial 18 bye-elections to vacant assembly seats that it must win a few to keep the state government safe in the assembly. In the manifesto for the general elections it released on Tuesday, the AIADMK pledged to get the central government legislate laws to extend reservation for the Dalits who converted to Christianity and Islam, reservation of jobs in private sector, shifting education to states list and exempting Tamil Nadu from common medical entrance examinations
Releasing the LS poll manifesto here, deputy chief minister and AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam said the party will request the central government to pass a new law for enabling reservations for those who concerted to Christianity and Islam by recognising their caste prior to conversion for reservation benefits.
The ruling BJP at the centre is an alliance partner of the AIADMK and hence this promise to get its ally to change laws suitably. The AIADMK leader said his party will press for acceptance of the Justice Sachar Committee recommendations to treat the Christian-converted SCs/STs, BCs and MBCs and the converted Muslims as beneficiaries of reservations as given to regular SCs/STs/BCs/MBCs. The AIADMK will also press for reservations in the private sector, he said.
The other promises include Hovercraft tourism to boost the economy of the coastal regions and its people.
Another major promise of the AIADMK was that it will work to ensure that the Uniform Civil Code proposal was dropped. Incidentally, this is one of the key Hindutva planks of the BJP and it remains to be seen as to how effectively the AIADMK manages to get the BJP to tone this down.
The AIADMK has in its manifesto has proposed to get the following accepted by the centre
– provision of monthly income of Rs.1,500 to poor with no questions asked;
– providing skill development training on the lines of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Phillipines;
– linking of Cauvery-Godavari rivers;
– reduce rate of interest for farm/service sector loans and relax norms;
– give up foreign direct investment in FDI;
– strengthen Coast Guard and enable the Tamil fishermen to exercise their fishing rights without fear in Indian territorial waters;
– establishment of a National commission for Fishermen Welfare in order to improve the social and economic status of fisher community;
– establish a Regional Branch of the Supreme Court in Chennai for the benefit of the people of Tamil Nadu and South Indian states;
– declaration of Cauvery delta region as protected agricultural zone;
– implementation of various water – drinking and irrigation- scheme;
– waiver of education loan;
– restructuring scheme for farm loan;
– release of the seven persons undergoing life sentence in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case;
– not to bring in Uniform Civil Code;
– urge the Union government to devolve 60 per cent of its tax revenue to the States based on 1971 census’
– release at the earliest the huge arrears amounting to Rs. 9,988 crores due to Tamil Nadu Government;
– declare Tamil as an official court language and
– give statehood for Puducherry