The Vaiko-led Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), which is part of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(DMK)-led front in Tamil Nadu, has promised to lift the ban on the LTTE and promised support for the trial in the International Court of Justice of those responsible for killing Tamils in Sri Lanka. 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, were some of the other promises in the manifesto released on Wednesday.
“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.
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 Nadu a nuclear-power free State. 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.
The party manifesto also stressed the need on stringent measures against illegal sand mining from the banks of the rivers in Tamil Nadu and that it would press for implementation of the National Green Tribunal order against sand mining.
It also expressed its opposition to the port at Kattupalli and promised to create a separate railway division by excluding Tirunelveli from Thiruvananthapuram division.
The MDMK manifesto also said that it would put pressure on the Central government to declare 12 temples in Tamil Nadu as World Heritage Centres.
Meanwhile, Amma Makkal Munnettra Kazagam (AMMK) chief TTV Dhinakaran withdrew his petition challenging All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leadership and their move to remove him as the Deputy General Secretary of the party ahead of the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections. Dhinakaran had filed the petition in 2017 after AIADMK's General Council expelled him and his aunt VK Sasikala, in the aftermath of Jayalalithaa's death. As per reports, Dhinakaran told the court that he has decided to withdraw the case since he has founded his own political party.
Also, AIADMK leader Kanagaraj, a former panchayat president of Vadakadu burnt his collection of dhotis in protest against his party's decision to field former Congress leader Dharma Thangavel from the Alangudi constituency for the upcoming Tamil Nadu election.
In the meantime, Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan announced that his first priority once his party comes to power will be fighting against the drug mafia.
Kamal said, "I think that the major fight one should take up is against the drug mafia which is spoiling the lives of thousands, may be lakhs of youth. The authorities must take stringent action against this menace which is destroying a generation. My priority once we get power will be total eradication of this menace from Tamil Nadu and India."
The MNM leader, who is contesting in a hard, four-cornered fight from Coimbatore South, further said that government authorities must conduct regular inspections to eliminate the drug mafia from the state.
Kamal said that he is confident of a win from Coimbatore South and he has been travelling and meeting new people in the past few days.