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Dravidian parties on an even keel

V. Jayanth



Both parties have promised to waive cooperative loans given to farmers. — Photo: K. Ganesan

CHENNAI: All that the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) promised in its election manifesto is now on offer from the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), barring colour television sets for eligible families. Otherwise, the major poll promises seem the same, even competitive.

If the DMK promised rice under the PDS at Rs. 2 a kg, the AIADMK went a step ahead and offered 10 kg of free rice per cardholder every month. When it came to waiver of farm loans, the two parties are on an even keel — both have vowed to waive all cooperative loans of farmers, including the interest.

What remains in favour of the DMK is the offer of colour television sets, promised to about 54 lakh households below the poverty line.

Not taking any chances, the two sides are revving up the campaign as it enters the last lap next week.

The DMK and its allies are telling the people that the AIADMK is a "copy cat" which, after criticising its promise, merely adopted it. The AIADMK too does not want to let the elections slip out of its hands. According to party sources, their private surveys identified "the family factor" to be the Achilles heel of the DMK and its focus will be to highlight this aspect to "warn the people of the impending danger."

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