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Jaya joins rice wars

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Andipatti, Tamil Nadu, Apr 17 (UNI) Rice continues to remain a key weapon in the ongoing electoral battle in Tamil Nadu, with AIADMK supremo and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today announcing that her party, if voted to power, would distribute ten kg free rice to family card holders in the State.

Not to be outplayed by the promises, including one kg of rice at Rs two, free colour TVs and free distribution of land to landless farmers, announced in the DMK's election manifesto, Ms Jayalalithaa said of the total 20 kg rice distributed through PDS outlets every month, ten kg would be given free.

The AIADMK General Secretary, who was camping at Theni district, made the announcement during electioneering at her home constituency.

The Government was now incurring an annual subsidy of Rs 1,200 crore by supplying PDS rice at Rs 3.5 crore to people below poverty line.

The 'rice war' between the two Dravidian parties rekindled the memories of the DMK's early days when its founder C N Annadurai raised the slogan 'Rubaikku moonu padi arisi' (three measures of rice for a rupee) during the Assembly poll in 1967.

The announcement, made in the midst of acute scarcity of foodgrain in the country, caught the imagination of the people of the state and led the party to a historic victory, bringing down the Congress.

Meanwhile, DMDK chief Vijayakanth has promised 15 kg free rice to the poor if he was voted to power in the state.

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