Total prohibition, allocation of 30% of State’s revenues to panchayats, 50% reservation for women in legislature, resolution against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the Assembly, are some of the promises in the manifesto of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), released on Wednesday.
Other important promises in the manifesto include the closure of atomic power stations, strengthening of public sector undertakings and 90% employment for the son of the soil in public sector undertakings.
The party, an ally of the DMK, also promised to mobilise support for trial in the International Court of Justice against those responsible for the killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka. It also pressed for lifting the ban on the LTTE.
“MDMK has been fighting for total prohibition in Tamil Nadu and the party’s general secretary Vaiko undertook a 3,000 km yatra across the State and met the people to create awareness. Liquor has destroyed the culture and traditions of Tamil Nadu and is responsible for the sufferings of women,” said the manifesto.
It proposed to set up a committee of experts to find ways to compensate the revenue generated by the State-run TASMAC liquor shops.
Stressing the need for expanding the powers of panchayats, the manifesto said development could be achieved by allotting 30% of the State revenues to local bodies. “The proper functioning of Dalits, women and tribals in panchayats should be ensured. There should be a discussion on locally available natural resources and a share in the resources should be given to panchayats,” it said.
Alleging that sand smuggling in Tamil Nadu rivers had destroyed the natural resources and the ground water table, the manifesto said it would press for implementation of the National Green Tribunal order for ban on sand quarrying.
As a political party that has been fighting against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP), the MDMK said it would strive hard to make Tamil Naud a nuclear-power free State. “People have been fighting against the KNPP. We will take efforts to withdraw the cases filed against them,” the manifesto said.
The party also promised to persuade the Centre to set up a separate ministry to protect the cultural identity and welfare of Tamils living in 70 countries including Sri Lanka, South Africa, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius, England and Australia.
Rajiv assassination convicts
Citing various court judgments, the manifesto reiterated its support for the release of seven persons convicted in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. “Only the Governor of Tamil Nadu has the power to release them,” it pointed out.
The manifesto also promised to protect Pallikaranai marshland while expressing its opposition to the port at Kattupalli. It has expressed its voice in favour of creating a separate Railway Division by excluding Tirunelveli from Thiruvananthapuram division.
Another promise in the manifesto is the creation of Judicial Commission for selection of Judges for the Madras High Court and other courts in the State.
Placing a thrust on development of tourism in the State, the MDMK said it would put pressure on the Centre to declare 12 temples in Tamil Nadu as World Heritage Centres. New train routes to Mamallapuram, construction of tourist houses, helicopter services, speed boat service and balloon games are other promises.