Ruling AIADMK on Thursday promised a slew of freebies in its manifesto for the May 16 Assembly elections, assuring mobile phone to all ration card holders, free 100 units of power and Wi-Fi in public places if it was voted to power for another term.
Strategically timed on a day when Congress President Sonia Gandhi was scheduled to address a poll rally along with ally and DMK President M Karunanidhi, the manifesto was unveiled by Jayalalithaa at a public rally here, in a departure from usual practice of release at party headquarters in Chennai.
Highlighting key aspects of the much-awaited manifesto containing series of populist measures covering various sectors, she promised that her party, if voted again to power, will provide mobile phone to all ration card holders.
Steps will be taken to ensure employment to one member of each household through various programmes including vocational training, Jayalalithaa said.
She said her party-led government will provide 100 units of power to all households under the present consumption calculation method, saying it will benefit 78 lakh consumers “who need not pay electricity bills,” if it came to effect.
“The free laptop scheme for students of Classes XI and XII will continue and free internet connection will be provided along with this,” she said amidst loud cheers from the large gathering in this rural town in Western Tamil Nadu.
Jayalalithaa promised to increase financial assistance under a maternity scheme from Rs 12,000 to Rs 18,000 and assured to double the quantum of gold for thali (mangal sutra) from the existing four gm.
Further, the party assured to give a Rs 500 coupon for people to buy handloom clothes from state-run Co-optex during the harvest festival of Pongal.
Waiver of cooperative farm loans, creation of Amma Venture Capital Fund of Rs 500 crore to promote first generation entrepreneurs, a Rs 100 crore Amma Collateral Guarantee Fund to provide collateral-free loans to SMEs were some of the other promises made in the manifesto.