Electioneering ends for Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu

The DMK's campaign ended in Chennai with Stalin addressing a public meeting where he said Modi uses a punchline that his 10-year rule was only a trailer.


Published Apr 18, 2024 | 1:59 PMUpdatedApr 18, 2024 | 1:59 PM

DMK election campaign in Tamil Nadu

Campaigning for the 19 April Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu ended on Wednesday, 17 April, with Chief Minister MK Stalin, Leader of Opposition Edappadi K Palaniswami and others holding public meetings, roadshows and reaching out to the people in as many ways as possible.

The DMK’s campaign ended in Chennai with Stalin addressing a grand public meeting where he said Modi uses a punchline that his 10-year rule was only a trailer.

Addressing Modi directly, he said “your trailer itself is so worse and unbearable, do you think your movie will be a success? For sure the film is not going to get released.” Apparently, he meant a victory for INDIA bloc and defeat for BJP and allies.

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‘Second freedom movement’: Stalin

Reiterating a string of his accusations against the BJP including “cleaning the corrupt through the BJP washing machine,” he claimed the Electoral bond “scam” has unmasked Modi, showing PM’s face of corruption and tearing his mask of clean image.

“Stalin Kural, Namakkagave, Nammai Kaakkave,” (Stalin’s voice for us, to protect us) the peppy DMK’s election song energised party workers all through the campaign trail. The song reflects a fighting spirit asking, “shall we see if it is us or them,” and has denouncing references to the BJP like “Sanghi”.

Writing to cadres, Stalin, also the chief of the ruling DMK once again described the 2024 LS polls as the “second freedom movement” and reiterated the election is about deciding “whose regime must not continue,” rather than who should capture power. The DMK chief alleged Modi ruined the nation for the sake of his “selfish politics.”

AIADMK attacks BJP and DMK

AIADMK general secretary Palaniswami held a roadshow in his home turf Salem and ended his campaign asking the people to repeat his party’s election tagline of “Otrai Viralal Ongi Adipom,” which means, “let us beat (political rivals) with a single finger” (by pressing the AIADMK’s symbol Two Leaves in EVM).

He blamed the BJP regime at the Centre for “discriminating” people on grounds like caste and religion which his party will never accept.

The former Chief Minister, citing a leaked audio clip, alleged corruption to the tune of about “₹30,000 crore” in the DMK regime. He slammed the ruling DMK for “not fulfilling” promises made ahead of the 2021 Assembly polls.

He recalled the initiatives of the previous AIADMK regimes including the provision of cost-free rice to mosques for making gruel during the month of Ramzan. The AIADMK is facing polls alongside its key ally the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) and smaller outfits.

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‘Dravidian politics not needed’: Annamalai

The BJP, which has so far failed to ensure significant electoral gains in the southern state, is making an aggressive bid to end the drought.

This manifested in Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the state at least eight times since January. He has addressed rallies in support of the NDA candidates.

Prior to the January Pran Pratishtha of the Shri Ram Temple in Ayodhya, he had visited holy sites in Tamil Nadu with a Ramayana connect, earlier this year.

BJP Tamil Nadu unit President K Annamalai and Saffron party leader L Murugan held high-voltage campaigns in Coimbatore and Nilgiris respectively to convince voters.

In a roadshow, Annamalai asserted that “Dravidian politics” is not needed anymore in Tamil Nadu and assured the people of working hard for them. In a video appeal seeking support from people, he described himself as “Ungal Veetu Pillai” and “Ungal Thambi Annamalai,” their son and younger brother.

He expressed confidence of ushering in of a new era of honest, Dharma-based politics in Coimbatore.

He was confident that the electorate will stand with “change,” and vote for BJP and allies. People will shun inducement by dishonest politicians, belonging to the party that ruled the state and by those in power as well.

He urged the people to bless with a historic victory for Prime Minister Modi. BJP’s alliance parties include the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), former Union Minister GK Vaasan-led Tamil Maanila Congress (Moopanar) and smaller outfits.

Candidates in fray

BJP candidate from South Chennai, Tamilisai Soundarajan reiterated her commitment to serve the people and blamed the ruling DMK and main opposition AIADMK for “doing nothing” for the people.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, whose party is contesting nine seats, addressed one election rally along with Stalin in Coimbatore last week.

In his campaign, Naam Tamilar Katchi top leader Seeman blamed the Congress and BJP over the Cauvery issue and sought votes to protect the interests of the Tamil people.

Former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam seeking his luck from Ramanathapuram, AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran who is contesting from Theni, MDMK candidate Durai Vaiko contesting from Tiruchirappalli, were among the leaders who held high-decibel rallies.

Meanwhile, with campaigning ending at 6 PM on Wednesday, police inspected lodges and marriage halls to ensure compliance of election norms that mandated no outsiders should stay in the constituencies.

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(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)