TN government, Opposition question each other over electoral promises

CM M.K. Stalin reiterates that his government will implement electoral promises made by the DMK

The Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly on Monday witnessed a heated debate between the ruling DMK and the Opposition AIADMK on unfulfilled poll promises during their respective regimes.

During the debate in the House, AIADMK legislator R.B. Udhayakumar (Thirumangalam) said the White Paper presented by Finance Minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan raised questions as to whether the DMK was going back on its election promises. Mr Rajan intervened to point out that the value of the rupee was not the same then and now. He drew attention to the fact that many suo motu announcements made by the former CM Edappadi K. Palaniswami had not been implemented.

While he maintained that his government would implement the promises, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin questioned why the erstwhile AIADMK government did not implement many of its electoral promises such as free cell phones, supplying Aavin milk for ₹25 a litre, bottled mineral water, groceries at nominal price, establishing a Amma bank, ₹500 coupons from Co-optex to beneficiaries, free Wi-fi in public places, setting up an Ambedkar Foundation, and launching Monorail in Chennai.

Mr. Palaniswami, the Leader of Opposition, questioned the DMK over its 2006 poll promise to give lands to landless farm labourers. “You had promised to give two acres of land to landless farmers. But, you did not complete the scheme. Also, you promised to provide ₹1,000 for homemakers in your [2021] election manifesto but after coming to power, you are saying it is only for the poor. So, you have taken a stand before the elections and differed from it after the elections,” he charged.

PWD Minister E.V. Velu rose to point out that the AIADMK promised to set up satellite towns, provide jobs to at least one member in a family but had not implemented them. “The government is for five years and we have completed only 100 days. Our Chief Minister will definitely implement our promises,” he said.

Food Minister R. Sakkarapani too asked why the AIADMK had not implemented its electoral promise to provide free bus passes for the elderly.

When Mr. Udhayakumar mentioned the implementation of the Old Age Pension scheme for the poor and the downtrodden, Mr. Rajan charged that several hundred elderly citizens were removed from the list of beneficiaries during the AIADMK regime. Endorsing this, Revenue Minister Minister K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran charged that several beneficiaries said the lists of beneficiaries were bigger in certain constituencies, while many were removed in other places.

Responding to Mr. Palaniswami, Cooperation Minister I. Periyasamy, said the erstwhile DMK government under then Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi had launched the scheme for giving land to landless farmers. Information Minister M.P. Saminathan pointed out how the AIADMK government did not distribute the free colour televisions set under the scheme launched by the DMK government and chose to keep them locked in godowns.

At the end of the debate, Mr. Stalin reiterated that his government would implement the promises made in the DMK election manifesto once the state of State’s finances were restored. “We will implement the promises made. There is no need for any doubt over them,” he said.

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