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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

TN Poll(i) Promises: Goodies Galore!

After reading the DMK’s manifesto, I got a feeling that April Fools Day has been preponed by 3 days. While promises like subsidized rice, free bus passes; mid-day meal schemes etc have been in vogue for a long time, the promise of a free colour TV for every household looks like the biggest comedy ever.

Quality rice at Rs. 2 a kg on ration cards, free colour television for every family "for women's recreation and general knowledge," a maternity assistance of Rs. 1,000 a month for six months, waiver of all cooperative loans to farmers and free electricity to weavers in addition to farmers, were some of the highlights.

I can’t understand the logic behind extending the free Colour TV scheme only to women. Maybe they are of the opinion that men are found only in TASMAC shops and might not really use the TV. Although MK has not defined what he means by women’s recreation and general knowledge, I have a strong feeling that he is referring to mega-serials and Thangavettai respectively. With so many burning issues on hand, shouldn’t the DMK be talking about tackling those instead of making a fool of themselves by offering TV’s? I guess the desperate urge to win at any cost is pushing them in this direction.

TR Vivek sums up most of my thoughts in this excellent article:

Karunanidhi's detractors allege that he is more interested in expanding the family's media business interests. His "vision" of increasing the television density would most definitely mean greater revenues, not to speak of unmatched political and advertising clout for the Sun Network.Just a back of the envelope calculation shows that Karunanidhi's latest freebie scheme would cost the exchequer Rs 5000 crore. The average penetration of CTVs in India is around 27 per cent. In the case of TN, it is higher at 30 per cent. Considering that there are 1.2 crore households in the state, nearly 70 per cent or 8.5 million (10 million are sold in the whole of India annually) of them still don't own a box. Even if you put the average cost of a CTV at Rs 6,000, TN's next finance minister could be looking at setting aside Rs 5100 crore.

If the DMK ever gets down to implementing this scheme, it will be an administrative nightmare as there might not be a foolproof method to identify households without Colour TV’s. Even households owning a colour TV can sell it off just before the government distributes the TV’s so that they can take advantage of this scheme.

Update: Kamlesh Singh of CNN-IBN has a funny poem depicting the poll promises of the Dravidian parties.


  • I was really shocked on seeing this news. But I have come to realize that it's truly a masterstroke. Who cares about actually fulfilling the promise? DMK has captured the public imagination (and front pages of newspapers for many days) by this promise and even if a miniscule 10% of the TV-less people are tempted to vote for the DMK just because of this, DMK will win in a landslide. We can expect to see ADMK coming out with a TV-related poll promise (cable tv at 50Rs?) with an aim to dilute this announcement's impact.

    Truly interesting times in TN.

    By Blogger Eswaran B, at 8:28 PM  

  • @Eswaran,
    I'm sure Jaya is going to prove that she can make more poll related promises. the action has just begun.

    By Blogger Kaps, at 10:18 PM  

  • Kaps the next one they will promise is a serial without the usual azhugai scenes my gosh, do they really think tamil folks are that stupid/naive ?

    but then are we like that ;)

    By Blogger Ganesh, at 10:34 PM  

  • This reminds me of Rajini's dialogue in "Valli" movie.

    Selai Vetti kekkadheenga ya, Velai Vetti kelungs :).

    Still Political parties treat people as fools.

    By Blogger REFLEX, at 1:04 PM  

  • @Ganesh,
    I can't imagine a megaserial without crying scenes....it would be interesting to see it.

    punch dialogues may not work during election time.....free gifts work for sure.

    By Blogger Kaps, at 3:11 PM  

  • It would have been better if they had promised free cable television from sun tv.. funny really.

    By Blogger Chez, at 3:27 PM  

  • Chez, If they offer free cable TV from SunTV, then the loss is borne by SunTV. If they offer Free TVs, the cost is borne by us tax-payers! Thats the difference! :)

    By Blogger Krishna, at 4:17 PM  

  • Ridiculous, lends to credence to the incumbent CM's allegations that coffers were left penniless at the end of KK's last stint !!

    By Blogger Arvind, at 9:01 AM  

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