The DMK's election manifesto is by far the most populist in terms of promises, which include free colour television sets for every family in Tamil Nadu and rice at Rs.2 a kg on ration cards. One wonders how the party proposes to manage the resources to finance such initiatives. When political parties promise such measures and welfare programmes, they should also spell out how they propose to implement them.

K. Murlidar,

The promise of a free colour TV to every household and rice at Rs.2 a kg on ration cards is baffling. Has the DMK worked out the economics of its promises? Or is it convinced it will not win the elections?

K. Balu,

The DMK has promised a lot of goodies, including colour television sets to families which do not have them, free gas stoves to poor women, and two acres of land to the landless poor. Are enough lands available for distribution? The manifesto is a manifestation of the DMK's desperation to come to power at any cost.

N. Krishnaswamy,

Election time has once again exposed the bankruptcy of thinking among politicians. All of them make a plethora of promises, which they know is difficult to fulfil. The latest in the list is the DMK. Whose money do politicians think they are committing when they promise the moon?

It is the taxpayers' money that is sought to be squandered away in unproductive expenditure such as purchase of TV sets.

K. Viswanaathan,

The media, which carry out opinion polls to foretell the fortunes of the various parties contesting the elections, should also logically prove the viability or otherwise of promises made in the election manifestos.

S. Vasudevan,

Does the DMK propose to increase taxes to fulfil the promises? In other words, collect money from taxpayers and give it back to them in the form of a television? Isn't it time for political parties to focus on growth-oriented manifestos?

Shriram Swaminathan,
Providence, Rhode Island

Real growth lies not in giving out doles from the exchequer but in empowering the people economically to make them self-reliant. What is the use of the promise of reservation to Muslims and Christians when there is hardly any recruitment under the State?

As long as parties are not held liable for not fulfilling the electoral promises, they will continue to make them.

K. Vaidyanathan,
Paloncha, A.P.

The DMK's election manifesto sounds more like a raffle advertisement. There should be a limit to wooing voters. What will become of Tamil Nadu if these promises are implemented? There is no sense of pragmatism in the manifesto, which seems to be a desperate attempt to return to power.

R.P. Durai Jasper,
Vellore, T.N.

Nearly 40 years after the three-measures-of-rice (about 4.6 kg)-for-Re.1 promise, on which the DMK rode to power but never implemented, the party is once again dangling the carrot called rice before the electorate. The least it can do is clarify what happened to the 1967 promise.

N. Parthasarathy,