Pad vending machines, edu loan waivers and unemployment stipend: Everything you need to know about DMK, ADMK manifestos 

A review of the manifestos of the Congress-DMK alliance and the BJP-AIADMK alliance for the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections had a few surprises, plenty of green font and a few bizarre claims in there
The Congress-DMK alliance and the AIADMK-BJP manifestos were eagerly expected and these are the promises they hold
The Congress-DMK alliance and the AIADMK-BJP manifestos were eagerly expected and these are the promises they hold

If this actually comes to pass, then it's great news for young people in Tamil Nadu — whichever Dravidian party comes to power. Both the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) have vowed to waive student loans, make education free for minorities, providing stipends to unemployed youths and abolish NEET. These are some of the major promises that the two parties made in their manifestos for the Parliamentary elections, released on Tuesday. Tamil Nadu goes to the polls on April 18.

Here's a breakdown of who's promising what and why we think it will matter:


The 76-page DMK manifesto elaborated on issues ranging from demonetisation to doing away with banks deducting money for not maintaining minimum balance to including Dalit Christians in the reservation list to setting up an education scheme to provide free education to SC/ST students to take up professional degree courses.

Lots of varsities

In their education plans, the DMK has assured that they will bring back education to the State List. They also hope to increase the expenditure on education to 6 percent of the GDP, of which the union government would share no less than 3 percent. They also propose to set up an IIT in Madurai, and another AIIMS in the state as well, a University of Siddha and Unani, a Railway Technology University and an Aviation University too. They also promise to launch an e-library for students.

Full scholarship for SC/ST students and free train travel

The DMK has also promised to insist upon the Union Government to extend full scholarships to SC/ST students so they can take up medical, engineering and other professional courses. This education scheme would be called 'Dr Ambedkar Free Education Scheme'. The DMK has also said that they would insist upon the Union Government including Dalit Christians in the reservation list. In order to help students from economically deprived backgrounds, all college and school students will be eligible for free train travel, the DMK said. The current opposition party has vowed to abolish NEET, a promise that the AIADMK also makes in their manifesto.

All education loans to be waived for poor students

Another important and interesting point the DMK makes is to entirely waive off student loans of students from economically weaker families. It also pointed out to the fact that banks put up the details of the students in their notices causing students mental distress. 

Free sanitary napkins in public spaces

From schools to colleges to various public spaces, they will push for sanitary pad vending machines to be set up

Reservation in IT and private sector

The manifesto also talks about the hot topic today - unemployment. The DMK say they will mandate companies to provide jobs to people within 20 kms of their location with a minimum pay of Rs 10,000. This will be a part of their CSR initiative and could potentially provide jobs to 50 lakh people, they claim. Reservation in the private sector is also something that DMK is proposing to do in their manifesto.

Compensation for Demonetisation victims

In this ordeal (demonetisation) more than a 100 people lost their lives. Families of the victims who lost their lives while standing in queues will be adequately compensated.

No more Gas Cylinder Subsidy

The present practise of reimbursing gas subsidy will be discontinued and the cylinder price will be fixed after deducting the subsidy. 

No more Minimum Balance in Banks. Full refund on fines + interest

Calling the act of penalising customers for not maintaining minimum balance an 'unscrupulous swindling' of money, the DMK has promised to scrap these charges  and have the charges thus incurred to customers refunded in full, with interest

GM crops

The DMK has vowed to not allow Genetically modified crops without proper scientific evaluation.

Free electricity for farmers & Organic Farming and Fertilizer Corporation

The DMK has claimed to facilitate free electricity and set up a corporation based on the work of Nammalwar.

Unionisation of IT Employees

Set up grievance cell and also a high level committee with the representation of labour party, company representatives and organisations like FITE.

Disability device tax

Elimination of taxes for assistance devices and their spare parts 

Chennai-Salem Highway

The DMK promises to stall all work on the highly controversial Chennai-Salem Highway and ensure broadening of roads

Mullaiperiyar Dam row

No new dams on the Mullaiperiyar and increase in water level

Dropping Neutrino project and Methane project

The DMK will persuade the Centre to drop the projects in TN

Special cyber crime in every district

After incidents like the Pollachi Sexual Abuse case In order to protect women from exploitation especially through the internet, cyber crime branches to set up in all districts

Citizenship for Eelam Tamils

The DMK has said that they will urge the government to provide citizenship for refugees from Sri Lanka


The AIADMK in their 46-page manifesto, that included a list of their achievements, brought to light a lot of their accomplishments in their last term. 

Rs 1500 direct debit for poor people

For the 2019 elections, the party says they would ensure a direct transfer of Rs 1,500 into the accounts of those from economically deprived backgrounds and those below the poverty line. 

Regional branch of Supreme Court in Chennai!

The AIADMK has also stated in their manifesto that they will urge the Government of India to set up a regional branch of the Supreme Court in Chennai.

Train you to go abroad

you go abroad The party also aims to make provisions for the development of skills of the workforce that will help the trainees be suitable for both Indian and global jobs. 

NEET exemption for a while

The AIADMK has also said that would urge the government to exempt TN from NEET till the students 'reach the standard of knowledge' required for the exam.

Free education for poor students

The party will also urge the Centre to provide free education to students from underprivileged backgrounds. Like the DMK, the AIADMK has also claimed that they will urge the Centre to treat Dalit Christians and Muslims as regular SC, ST, BC, OBCs.

Loans waived for poor students 

Waiving loans for students from economically deprived backgrounds is also on their agenda. This applies to farmers as well

Unemployment stipend of Rs 2000 for 10th pass

They also propose to provide Rs 2000 to unemployed SSLC and degree holders till they find a suitable job. The DMK is also proposing to provide all constitutional guarantees to Eelam Tamils. 

Mullaiperiyar Dam Row

No more dams will be constructed at the Mullaiperiyar dam, another point in the manifesto

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