Chennai: Free rice, an unemployment dole, securing trade union rights for workers, housing plots for the poor and land reforms are among the promises the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has made in its manifesto for the April 13 Tamil Nadu assembly polls.
The CPI-M also criticised Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK president M Karunanidhi of intimidating the Election Commission of India for its steps to conduct polls in a free and fair manner and curbing the play of money power.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday after releasing the manifesto, party state secretary G. Ramakrishnan said the repeated criticism of poll panel by Karunanidhi is nothing but intimidation.
Noting the Election Commission is vested with powers to transfer officials to ensure a free and fair poll, he welcomed the decision to conduct vehicle checks and seize unaccounted money but said such actions should not put common man into problems.
Dodging questions about the freebies announced by the party`s ally AIADMK in its manifesto, Ramakrishnan said CPI-M`s manifesto is focussed on solving common man`s problems.
Stressing that an election provides an opportunity for the people to decide on the state`s future, the CPI-M`s manifesto said it is not a festival that comes every fifth year.
Attacking the ruling DMK for implementing anti-people policies in the state which have resulted in drastic increase in the prices of essential items, unemployment levels and fall in agriculture production, the CPI-M promised to provide a people-friendly economic policy.
It said the party would strive to protect the small, micro and medium enterprises in the state with tax concessions and building better infrastructure.
Promising that it would strive to bring right to food as a fundamental right, the CPI-M has said that it would fight for banning online forward trading in agricultural products.
Referring to the continuous power outages in the state, it promised that it would work hard to bring in more power projects.
The communist party has also promised to get the poor 35 kg free rice to the poor in Tamil Nadu and also an unemployment dole of Rs 1,000 per month.
Promising that CPI-M would put a stop to criminalization of politics, the party has promised to put an end to kangaroo courts, illegal sand quarrying and land frauds in the state. The party also promised to strive for land reform laws and distribution of lands to Dalits, poor farmers and the poor.
The party said it will support providing housing plots to the poor and also providing concrete houses throughout the state for the poor through the housing board. It also assured that it would protect those living in temple properties.
Expressing its opposition to the acquisition of farm lands for industrial purposes without farmers` consent, the CPI-M also said it would work to get them paddy procurement price of Rs.1,500 per quintal and Rs 3,000 per tonne of sugarcane.
Expressing its support for the Sethusamudram canal project, the CPI-M also said that it would fight for the increase in the height of Mullaperiyar Dam to 142 feet.
For the working class, the party promised it would work to get the trade union formation rights in all industrial units through a secret ballot.
Ramakrishnan also announced that that senior party leaders Prakash Karat, Sitaram Yechury and Brinda Karat would campaign in Tamil Nadu between April 1 and April 7.