Chennai: The PMK, which took the lead among political parties in the state in releasing the manifesto for the April 18 Lok Sabha election, on Friday pitched for state autonomy, retrieving lost rights of Tamil Nadu besides making India strong.
The 94-page manifesto for the 2019 general election released by PMK founder Dr S. Ramadoss here also includes an assurance to make parental consent compulsory for marriage. The party has in the past accused the Dalit men of luring upper caste girls into marriage. And on the agriculture front, the party has promised an economic zone for each district besides a promise to waive of loans obtained by farmers from PSU banks up to Rs 1 lakh and loans availed by farmers in cooperative societies, with the Centre bearing a portion of the amount.
Release of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convicts, monthly dole for jobless youth, total prohibition and increasing the Income-Tax exemption for salaried class from Rs. 5 lakh to 7 lakh also figure in the manifesto. The party also announced a monthly financial assistance of Rs. 4,000 to all the jobless youth in the country who have registered in employment exchanges for five years.
"Only if we have autonomy, the powers in the Centre will not interfere in our State's rights and we can grow as well. Hence power sharing is a major announcement in the election manifesto," Dr. Ramadoss emphasised. Speaking to reporters, the PMK founder said devolution of power was 82-year-old dream that had commenced before Independence. The Central government must share powers with the State government and act as a joint family leader, he added.
Also, he assured to take steps to ensure the release of seven persons accused in the murder of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. "It is one of the prime points in the manifesto," he said. On his party's pet policy of abolishing alcohol, Dr Ramadoss said "it is still a priority. PMK manifesto demands a bad tax of 100 per cent on alcohol and tobacco products."
Steps to reduce the tax component to 10, 20 and 30 per cent for those drawing salaries between `7 to 10 lakh, `10 to 15 lakh and `15 lakh and above, respectively, full tax exemption up to `2 lakh investment in Government bonds and encouraging individual savings, were among the several assurances.
Earlier, justifying the PMK's alliance with the ruling AIADMK and the BJP, PMK youth wing leader Dr. Anbumani argued that parties, which were opposed to each other, had come together elsewhere in the country and cited the coming together of SP-BSP in Uttar Pradesh, AAP-INC, NCP-Congress in Maharashtra, TDP-Congress in Andhra Pradesh, and the DMK-Congress in Tamil Nadu. "We will not give up on Tamil Nadu's interest," he said. PMK president G. K. Mani was among those present during the manifesto release....