DMK Manifesto Vows To Clip Governor’s Wings


The manifesto promises an amendment to the Constitution’s Article 361, scrapping of the National Education Policy, 2020, CAA, and “One Nation, One Election” proposal…reports Asian Lite News

Tamil Nadu’s ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Wednesday released its manifesto ahead of the April-May Lok Sabha polls, promising to work to ensure governors are appointed in consultation with the state governments and chief ministers until the gubernatorial office is abolished.

The manifesto promises an amendment to the Constitution’s Article 361 that shields a governor from criminal proceedings, scrapping of the National Education Policy, 2020, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), and the “One Nation, One Election” proposal.

The promises related to gubernatorial office come against the backdrop of the DMK government’s frequent run-ins with governor RN Ravi. The DMK has accused Ravi of being an agent of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ideological fount Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

The state government accused Ravi of attempting to run a parallel government as it approached the Supreme Court on Monday against his refusal to swear in K Ponmudi as minister after the court suspended his conviction this month in a disproportionate assets case.

The DMK, which is part of the Opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA), has promised statehood to the Union territory of Puducherry and exemption of aspirants from Tamil Nadu from the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). It has pledged Indian citizenship for Sri Lankan Tamils and a Supreme Court bench in Chennai, the elimination of toll plazas on the National Highways, Minimum Support Price for farmers, educational loan waivers and LPG cylinders at ₹500, petrol at ₹75 and diesel at ₹65.

The manifesto says key institutions such as the Supreme Court, the Comptroller and Auditor General, the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Reserve Bank, the University Grants Commission, the Indian Medical Council, the Election Commission of India, and the Union government’s educational boards were in peril under the BJP government. “After a change in administration, these Constitutional institutions will operate autonomously and without political interference, as designed in the Constitution.”

The DMK said if the INDIA bloc is voted to power, the new Union government would re-establish the Planning Commission to draft plans based on the requests of state governments. It says the INDIA alliance government will review all “people-unfriendly laws” introduced over the last 10 years and that education and healthcare will be included on the state list. “The introduction of the Uniform Civil Code will be strictly prevented to preserve the secular nature of India as stated in the Constitution’s preamble,” the manifesto says.

The DMK promised to work for having written and oral examinations in Tamil and other state languages for all Union government jobs and examinations conducted by bodies such as the Union Public Service Commission. “Tamil will be declared as a Co-Official Language in Union government offices in Tamil Nadu, ensuring that all Union government offices, institutions, and nationalized banks in Tamil Nadu operate in Tamil as well, with relevant amendments to Section 343 [official language] of the Indian Constitution to be introduced by the new government,” it said.

“The new government in the Union will issue orders to accept Tamil as a court language in the Madras High Court. The completion of the Sethusamudram Project, to ensure the economic development of southern Tamil Nadu and to secure the nation’s safety, will be a priority for the new government formed in the union, promising decisive actions.”

Lawmaker Kanimozhi Karunanidhi, who headed the DMK’s election manifesto committee, toured across Tamil Nadu to draft it. DMK president and chief minister MK Stalin released the manifesto along with the list of the Lok Sabha elections.

INDIA bloc finalised its seat-sharing pact in Tamil Nadu on Monday. DMK is fighting on 21 out of the state’s 39 seats. The Congress will contest nine seats in Tamil Nadu and the lone seat in Puducherry. The Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), a Dalit party in the state, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), and the Communist Party of India, got two seats each.

The Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) are contesting one seat each. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the DMK-led alliance swept the Lok Sabha polls in the state, winning 38 out of the 39 seats.

The BJP has been trying to make inroads into Tamil Nadu even as no national party has been able to make a mark in the southern state since 1967.

EC directs action against Karandlaje

Meanwhile, The Election Commission of India has directed the Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka to take immediate action against Union Minister of State Shobha Karandlaje for claiming that ‘the suspect involved in the March 1 blast at the Rameshwaram Cafe in Bengaluru was from Tamil Nadu’, officials said.

“ECI has directed CEO Karnataka to take immediate and appropriate action on the complaint of DMK against the alleged violation of MCC by BJP leader and Union Minister of State Shobha Karandlaje while addressing reporters in Bengaluru, Karnataka,” the poll commission said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Shobha Karandlaje while speaking to the reporters, said that “one guy comes from Tamil Nadu, takes training there, and plants a bomb at Rameshwaram Cafe.” DMK filed a complaint with the Election Commission of India on Wednesday over her remarks.

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