DMK vows not to implement CAA, UCC in manifesto

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam head M K Stalin on Wednesday released a list of 21 candidates who will contest the Lok Sabha elections under the party banner.

Featured on the list are party heavyweights K Kanimozhi and A Raja, among others. The party has decided to field Kalanidhi Veerasami from North Chennai, Tamilachi Thangapandian from South Chennai, Dayanidhi Maaran from Central Chennai, TR Balu from Sriperumbatur, Jagathrachahan from Arakonam and Kandhir from Vellore.

Annadurai will contest from Thiruvanamalai, Dharani from Aarani, and Selvagapathi from Selam, Prakash from Erode, A Raja from Nilgiris, Ganapathi Rajkumar from Kovai, and Arun Neru from Perambalur; Murasoli from Tanjore; Thanga Tamil Selvam from Theni; Kanimozhi from Thuthukudi; Rani from Thenkasi; and Malaiarasan from Kallakurichi.

Stalin also launched the party’s manifesto for the polls, which included promises to not implement the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the National Educational Policy (NEP) and the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the state.

“It is not only a DMK manifesto but the people’s manifesto. When the BJP came to power in 2014, they destroyed India. None of the election promises were fulfilled. We have formed the INDIA Alliance, and we will form our government in 2024. In our manifesto, we have announced special schemes for TN and schemes for every district are given in this manifesto” Stalin said at the release.

The manifesto also made myriad other promises, including the appointment of ‘good Governors,’ granting statehood to Puducherry and a ban on the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET). DMK’s election manifesto also aims to amend Article 361 – which provides immunity to Governors from criminal proceedings – and wants the state to be consulted on appointing people to the post.

Stalin’s party has long been opposed to these policies brought out by the Central government, with the southern state refusing to use the NEET as a metric to grant admission, even passing a bill to the same effect in 2021. That Bill did not get state Governor R N Ravi’s assent.

The DMK is fighting the polls in alliance with the Congress which will contest nine seats in Tamil Nadu. Its other allies are VCK, CPM, CPI who will contest two seats each. IUML, KMDK, MDMK will contest one seat each of the 39 seats in the state.

Tamil Nadu is voting on April 19 in a single phase of polling. The Election Commission of India issued a notification on Wednesday for the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections 2024 to be conducted starting April 19 through to June 1.

Harry Byrne

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