Chennai: Like how the IPL final witnessed a big fight between two strong teams – Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians – the 19 May by-election to four Assembly seats in the State is seeing a straight battle between the two big parties in Tamilnadu – the ruling AIADMK and the principal opposition, DMK.
Though both parties had forged mega alliances ahead of the 18 April Lok Sabha elections and by-polls to 18 Assembly seats, their partners are not much of a help now.
Reports from ground zero reveal that there was no active campaigning by alliance leaders of the AIADMK and DMK in Sulur, Aravakurichi, Thirupparankundram and Ottapidaram. If this is the case with leaders, the cadres of partner-parties are also not showing much enthusiasm, allege poll managers in both camps.
As a result, campaigning is left among Chief Minister and AIADMK joint coordinator Edappadi K Palaniswami, Deputy CM and the party’s coordinator O Panneerselvam, and DMK president M K Stalin.
“Though it is a fact that alliance parties are not actively campaigning for the AIADMK and DMK, these biggies, in fact, don’t need their help in these four seats, as they are strongly positioned in these constituencies. Traditionally, Sulur, Aravakurichi, Thirupparankundram and Ottapidaram are strongholds of the AIADMK and the DMK,” says Jothiram Ethiraj, a political observer.
He adds: “Moreover, they had not allocated any seats to allies in the by-election to 22 constituencies. With curtains coming down on Lok Sabha polls, it is natural for partners to stay away from campaigning, as they have no stakes in the 19 May by-polls. But, this may reflect in the upcoming local body elections.”
An AIADMK office-bearer points out that DMDK president Vijayakanth and PMK founder S Ramadoss had already extended their full support to All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidates.
“As far as campaigning is concerned, EPS and OPS are doing wonders in attracting voters,” he adds.
According to a DMK functionary, “MDMK general secretary Vaiko addressed a meeting in Sulur on Saturday. Cadres of our partners too are supporting us and Thalapathi (party president M K Stalin) campaigned actively. This is enough for us to post victory.”