The manifesto only talks of renaming its marriage scheme & increasing financial support. It does not state that the woman should be of a higher caste.
According to the 2021 DMK election manifesto, Marriage Financial Assistance is provided to promote inter-caste marriages. It is aimed at couples with one spouse belonging to the SC or ST community. The manifesto reads, "The scheme will be increased in all the different kinds of benefits to support inter-caste marriages and as a step towards abolishing discrimination based on caste. A government order will be released to re-implement this scheme. If one of the partners in an inter-caste marriage is from a ST, special assistance of ₹60,000 and 8 grams of 22-carat gold will be provided." Point 259 in the manifesto does not mention that the bride should be from any specific community or the dominant caste.
The manifesto promises to rename the scheme (currently named after Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy) after party patriarch M Karunanidhi's mother Anjugam Ammal and increase the financial support from ₹25,000 (for non-graduates) and ₹50,000 (for graduates) to ₹60,000. The 8 grams of gold is already being offered to tribal women's marriages.
Addressing the controversy, DMK MP R. S. Bharathi said that the Anjugam Ammal Memorial Intercaste Marriage Assistance Scheme was more than five decades old (1967), which has continued to exist under different names. He stated that the party had announced that it would increase the cash amount by ₹10,000. He added that action would be taken against those who falsely propagated it.