By steering a successful election campaign, Stalin has already proved to be a shrewd player. His manifesto contained a plethora of populist measures, reminiscent of DMK in its heydays. Along with the provision of monetary support to women in all households, LPG grants, employment benefits to Tamilians, creation of 5.5 lakh jobs in the government sector, he also kept the party’s tradition of standing up to Central policies concerning the NEP, NEET and the CAA. However, on the fiscal front, the state’s debt is set to cross Rs 5 lakh crore in 2021-22, significantly contributed to by the AIADMK’s populist measures implemented in the run-up to the Assembly polls. As part of his own poll promises, Stalin has assured ration cardholders impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, a sum of Rs 4,000.