Chennai: A day after DMK president M K Stalin promised to offer Rs 1,000 per month to every homemaker in poll-bound Tamil Nadu, the ruling AIADMK announced that if reelected, it would give six free LPG cylinders per household annually and Rs 1,500 for homemakers every month.
AIADMK co-coordinator and Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami made the announcement on the eve of Women’s Day in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and other leaders on Monday evening.
Palaniswami dismissed suggestions that the ruling party had come up with the freebies and bonanza for homemakers after the DMK promised Rs 1,000 per month. “We had planned it. Somehow some information got ‘leaked’ and they (DMK) announced it,” he claimed.
He said the party will soon release its Assembly election manifesto but it was making these two announcements due to Women’s Day. The manifesto will have more schemes that would gladden the people, he added.
The AIADMK’s counter offer, made political observers reminiscence how in 2006, then Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had come up with competitive promises soon after DMK leader M Karunanidhi released a manifesto promising free colour television sets for all and rice at Rs 2 per kg. In that election the DMK had won and eventually, then Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, whose Congress was a DMK ally, described the manifesto as the hero of the elections.
Palaniswami dismissed opinion polls predicting a clear victory for the DMK this time. “You said similar things earlier. But in the two Assembly by-polls we won with comfortable margins. We will form the next Government,” he said.