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Flood of freebies in Tamil Nadu as poll nears
Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls and bypolls to 21 vacant Assembly seats, a freebie distribution drive has been launched in the State.
While Rs 2,000 in cash is being deposited in the accounts of farmers in Northern and Delta districts, under the Prime Minister’s Kisan scheme, items such as two-wheelers, sewing machine, cricket kits and utensils are being distributed in poll-bound Assembly seats.
Highly placed official sources told DT Next that bank SMSes and farmers feedback is being obtained to ensure the maximum implementation of the Kisan scheme. The State will also roll out its financial assistance scheme of providing Rs 2,000 to the below poverty line (BPL) families by this weekend.
As part of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s 71st birth anniversary celebrations, the AIADMK district secretaries have started stocking freebies and are conducting party programmesat all vacant assemblyconstituencies.
According to party sources, the dates of AIADMK leaders and ministers are blocked for the next one week. The first event was kick-started by party convenor and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Monday at Perambur, a constituency which became vacant after the 18 MLAs disqualification case. “State ministers are also taking turns to attend these functions. The freebies will be given next week,” AIADMK sources said.
In T Nagar Assembly constituency, the party unit led by MLA B Sathyanarayanan had also distributed cricket kits and carrom boards in large numbers. Party functionaries in Dindigul are also on a spree distributing utensils and bicycles through functions organised by Forest Minister Dindigul C Srinivasan.
Health Minister C Vijaya Bhaskar, who had recently sponsored several jallikattu events in his native Pudukkottai district, is also preparing to organise Jayalalithaa birthday functions. The Minister has planned a massive distribution of freebies before the model code of conduct is enforced, informed sources said.
Meanwhile, the TTV-Dhinakaran led AMMK had also organised functions to celebrate the birth anniversary of Jayalalithaa. “The first freebie event from our camp commenced in North and Central Chennai. We are monitoring the AIADMK in this regard,” said a functionary, adding that, “Due to a cash crunch, we are restricting the gifts to iron boxes and sewing machines.”