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Tamil Nadu Elections: A Status Check of AIADMK's 2016 Manifesto

Tamil Nadu CM K Palaniswami and AIADMK party leaders during the release of party's manifesto in Chennai on Sunday. (PTI)

Tamil Nadu CM K Palaniswami and AIADMK party leaders during the release of party's manifesto in Chennai on Sunday. (PTI)

Sops galore this time as well, but still many promises yet to be fulfilled from Amma’s manifesto.

With the assembly polls round the corner, the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has released its election manifesto seeking a third consecutive term in Tamil Nadu. As the state gears up for the April 6 Assembly elections, here is a look at the party’s performance during the 2016-21 term with respect to its manifesto.

On the day of assuming office after the 2016 assembly polls in Tamil Nadu, former Chief Minister late J. Jayalalithaa fulfilled a number of important electoral promises, including enhancing the maternity assistance for pregnant women from Rs 12,000 to Rs 18,000 and closing 500 state-run liquor outlets.

She also passed orders for providing 50 per cent subsidy, not exceeding Rs 20,000, for one lakh two-wheelers for working women. Along with that, Jayalalithaa passed orders for doubling the financial assistance to the unemployed youth and for constructing 5,000 houses for fishermen.

In addition, she also sanctioned the waiver of outstanding short-term crop loans, medium-term agriculture and long-term farm sector loans issued to small and marginal farmers by the co-operative institutions as on March 31, 2016. Accordingly, Rs 4,893.48 crore of principal and Rs 386.77 crore of outstanding interest as on March 31, 2016, totalling Rs 5,280.25 crore, was waived, official data said.

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In 2021, the AIADMK government, under Edappadi K. Palaniswami, extended the scheme for over 16 lakh farmers and waived loans taken from cooperative banks due on January 31, 2021. As of February 2021, Rs 12,110.74 crore owed by 16,43,347 farmers has been waived.

A provision of Rs 5,000 crore has also been made in the interim budget estimates 2021-22 for the crop loan waiver scheme.

In the 2016 manifesto, Jayalalithaa had promised free electricity of 100 units bimonthly (or 50 units per month) to all domestic consumers in all slabs. Rs 8,413.98 crore has been provided towards tariff subsidy in the revised estimates 2020-21, of this amount, Rs 3,377.37 crore was for the domestic subsidy.

In the 2016 polls, Jayalalithaa was the face of the party and her focus was on women. Be it enhancing maternity assistance or increasing maternity leave from six months to nine months, women were the center of her politics.

Jayalalithaa passed away on December 5, 2016 in Chennai, months after assuming the Chief Minister’s office.

The AIADMK, which is in power since 2011, has taken a number of steps for women. Under the various marriage assistance schemes from 2011-12 till February 2021, 12,50,705 beneficiaries have been provided with 6,099.08 kg of gold worth Rs 1,791.05 crore and Rs 4,371.22 crore as financial assistance.

Along with eight gram of gold coin, the government also provided a cash assistance of Rs 25,000 to non-graduates and Rs 50,000 to graduates and diploma holders.

Also, under the Dr Muthulakshmi Reddy Maternity Benefit Scheme, the government provided enhanced financial assistance of Rs 18,000 per beneficiary. Between May, 2011 and February 2021, financial assistance of Rs 6,929.07 crore has been disbursed to 68.91 lakh pregnant mothers.

Similarly, under the Chief Minister’s Girl Child Protection Scheme, 4,56,115 girl children have benefited since 2011-12.

Under the Cradle Baby Scheme offering a safe space for abandoned babies in Tamil Nadu, 1,186 male babies and 4,359 female babies have received a new lease of life since 2011-12.

Between April 1, 2011 and February 2021, 25,32,732 free house site pattas have been issued.

While the AIADMK has fulfilled its promises for fisher folk and free laptops for students, it has made no concrete development on free cell phone distribution and co-optex coupons worth Rs 500 for the ration card holders. Also, the state awaits free Wi-Fi at public places. While Jayalalitha had made announcement for free Wi-Fi in the 2016 manifesto and also after assuming office, the Tamil Nadu government launched Amma Free Wi-Fi zones only in five cities of the state in 2018, costing Rs 8.50 crore. Under the scheme, users were getting 20 minutes of free internet service every day and thereafter had to pay Rs 10 per hour.

Similarly, the Amma banking card for the poor to avail of state services is also yet to be on the ground.

Also, while the late leader had promised that the state would have a phased prohibition on liquor, the promise was not fully implemented on the ground. As per the government data, till 2019, the number of retail IMFL shops run by Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (Tasmac) has reduced from 7,896 to 5,198.

Tamil Nadu will go to polls on April 6, and the results will be announced on May 2.