Tale of two poll promises

The state Assembly is one of those places where a steady stream of news that nobody cares about pours out. Hardly at any point do the House debates seem of concern to the average reader.
But the Madrasvasi is a political animal, who grew up on a diet of Thuglak, Thinamani, Thanthi and The Hindu. The endless rhetoric of the politicians is music to his ears. But here we go anyways. Your daily diet is now on your favourite blog.

Prior to the elections it seemed that an insecure DMK, unsure of victory had made at least a couple of impossible to implement poll promises. One clearly was the issue of giving colour TVs to everyone – including some in rural areas who don’t yet have electricity. The other was the promise to provide 2 acres of land to the landless farm labourer.
The DMK government has decided it is going to take a shot at implementing both these promises. First the TVs sets: Over the last two days, the process of deciding which companies will produce the TVs at what cost has been discussed and decided. Videocon, Kitchen Appliances and Dixon Technologies are the three companies that have been chosen to produce between them 30,000 TV sets. This is just for starters.
The lowest bidder, Videocon, will provide the colour TVs for just 2,965 a set. The other two bidders will provide 7,500 sets each for the same price. After the Electronic Corporation of Tamil Nadu floated a global tender, Videocon offered to manufacture TVs for Rs 3088.55 but presumably the company came down from that price under “government pressure.”
Mr Stalin, part of the all-party committee that decided on the issue, said “there will be no compromise on quality” of the TVs given. The panel in which the AIADMK and its ally Vaiko’s MDMK refused to take part unanimously decided on the issue. Rs 750 crore, which at first sight seems so little, has been allocated for the scheme. It is not yet clear whether the promised free power to be supplied to watch the TVs will be given using these meagre funds as well. No talk yet of how many TVs will be manufactured in all.

Meanwhile, it looks like the free land promise is in some sort of trouble. MK is blaming Jaya’s AIADMK for having misled the house on quantity of land available in the state to be distributed to the poor. After some political wrangling, some land indeed would be distributed. But MK is no Lex Luther to produce land. There is only so much in the state. How many acres of wasteland does the state thinks it has? 50 lakh hectares as the DMK makes out or 20 lakh hectares the AIADMK claims it mentioned in the last budget?
Whether every landless labourer will end up getting 2 acres of land free is anybody’s guess. I am betting that he/she won’t.

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