Scramble among TN parties to set up booth-level committees

Chennai: Even though there are months to go for general elections, parties have already got into poll preparation mode.

The two major parties in the State, the AIADMK and DMK, have revamped their strategies as far as setting up booth committees are concerned.

They have appointed several fresh faces to be their representatives at various levels. And even meetings with them are on in this regard on a regular basis. Interestingly, though Rajinikanth has not decided on contesting the Parliament elections in 2019, he still has gone ahead and almost completed the formalities to set up booth committees.

Speaking to News Today, Raveendran, a political analyst, says, “Booth committees play an important role on the day of election. They form a team and visit houses before the polling day. Their presence at the respective polling stations has become important today. The stronger the presence at grassroots-level, the better the chances of a good number of votes for them.

“It is no surprise that the AIADMK and DMK, the two major parties in the State, have completed the formalities. They have ensured that they put street-smart men at crucial places. Those who know the geographical area and have a connect with the people in the wards have been entrusted with the job. At several places, they have appointed young and energetic faces as in-charge for the Lok Sabha constituencies. They interact with the booth committees on a regular basis.”

A spokesperson of the DMK said, “We have completed the formalities for 65,000 polling booths across the State. We are prepared to face the elections even if it is announced tomorrow. They know what they have to do. We have briefed them in detail.”

Echoing the same, an AIADMK leader said, “We missed a few tricks in the R K Nagar by-poll. It was a wake-up call. We have addressed the mistakes that happened there. Come next elections, we have strong booth committees in every constituency. We are well-prepared.”

To strengthen the party at the booth level and to monitor works, 58 observers have been appointed for Congress district units. In order to face the general elections-2019 effectively, the Tamilnadu Congress Committee (TNCC) has appointed observers for all district units of the party.

Besides, the observers have been asked to carry out various works such as appointing booth-level agents and prepare their list, constitute a booth committee in all polling booths in their respective districts, conduct door-to-door campaign to highlight the ‘failures’ of the BJP-led government, get donation for the party, enrol new members and manage the tours of TNCC president and functionaries of the All India Congress Committee in the State.

As far as Rajinikanth is concerned, his Rajini Makkal Mandram, after completing enrolment, is now busy appointing booth-level workers. They have a target of setting up a team of five to 12 workers in every booth. Sources say that they are almost done. Remember Rajinikanth saying, “In case of early Assembly elections, we are ready to face it”?

Senior leaders of the State unit of the BJP have been touring various districts to hold meetings with cadres in this regard, while the PMK is not far behind.

If their presence at the lower level is strong, the parties will be confident of facing the elections, says Raveendran.

M BHARAT KUMAR