Kamal Hasaan’s 2021 poll agenda: Pay to homemakers, computer for every household

Ahead of the 2021 assembly polls, actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) has promised pay for women homemakers and a computer with high-speed internet for every household. This is amongst a seven-point governance and economic agenda that the party released on Monday while Haasan is in the second leg of his election campaign.

To establish the seven promises, the party has proposed creating a ministry of digital governance and a ministry of possibilities in their effort to ‘re-imagine’ Tamil Nadu.

“Women will break through established glass ceilings by equal opportunities provided by the MNM government,” the statement read. “Homemakers will get their due recognition through payment for their work at home, raising the dignity of our womenfolk.”

The party has promised to declare the internet as a basic human right and would offer internet at 100mbps and above through optical fibre cables as a common property resource.

The party also said that it would implement the BharatNet and TamilNet projects. For this, Haasan will be aided by former bureaucrat Santhosh Babu, who helmed the BharatNet project as the state secretary for Information Technology but quit the service in August after he reportedly came under pressure over tender norms. He joined the MNM in December and was appointed as the party’s general secretary.

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The other pledges include cutting red tape by banning physical files and introducing “paperless government offices that run on a single ERP from the panchayat office to the chief minister’s office,” the statement said.

The ‘Right to Services Act’ will be introduced and BPOs will be set up in rural areas where industries can outsource tasks and migration to cities will be prevented, the party said.

With a vision to transform farmers as ‘agri-entrepreneurs’, the MNM hopes to create infrastructure such as a cold chain supply. The MNM also wants to combat climate change by promoting green initiatives. “Environment management will be the top agenda of the government,” the statement stated.

The MNM had contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and registered a 3.7 per cent vote share even though it failed to win even a single seat. The party’s poll plank has been anti-corruption, employment generation and environmental concerns. Haasan is expected to make his poll debut in 2021 assembly elections and is yet to announce his assembly constituency.

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