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Monday, June 25, 2018

In Tamil Nadu, campaign shifts to final gear

Several opinion polls have given a slight edge to arch-rivals DMK in what is expected to be a closely fought election, and AIADMK leaders are hoping that Jayalalithaa’s letter will turn out to be a wake-up call for party functionaries.

Written by Arun Janardhanan | Chennai | Updated: May 14, 2016 2:38:42 am
At Jayalalithaa’s campaign rally in Perundurai, Thursday. (Source: PTI) At Jayalalithaa’s campaign rally in Perundurai, Thursday. (Source: PTI)

WITH ONLY a day left for campaigning before Tamil Nadu votes on Monday, Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa on Friday wrote an open letter to party cadres, exhorting them to work with the assumption that she is the party candidate in all 234 Assembly constituencies of the state.

Several opinion polls have given a slight edge to arch-rivals DMK in what is expected to be a closely fought election, and AIADMK leaders are hoping that Jayalalithaa’s letter will turn out to be a wake-up call for party functionaries.

Keeping up the last-minute action, while the PMK candidate for Nanguneri seat in south Tamil Nadu joined the ruling AIADMK, the party’s leader, S Ramadoss, made an interesting announcement before the media in Chennai. According to Ramadoss, if the party wins the polls, the government will have two deputy chief ministers — a woman and one representing southern TN — besides his son and party leader Anbumani Ramadoss as the CM.

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In an election that has so far abandoned the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils by all Tamil nationalist parties, Jayalalithaa’s letter asks AIADMK cadres to tell voters that the DMK-Congress combine will inflict more harm on the welfare of Sri Lankan Tamils.

Taking on the DMK’s “family politics”, the CM wrote that it would “impact individual freedom”. She wrote: “Do remind people about how a single family dominated the movie, cricket, media, television world between 2006 and 2011.”

While Tamil Nadu Congress chief E V K S Elangovan blamed Jayalalithaa for stalling infrastructure projects amounting to Rs 11,000 crore in the state, Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani said that the mention of DMK-Congress alliance reminds people of the 2G scam in the erstwhile UPA government at the Centre. Irani was in the state capital to campaign for BJP state president Tamilisai Soundararajan, contesting from Virugambakkam in Chennai city.

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