Stalin set on making vision statement from Rockfort, aiming to capture Fort St George

The DMK president will release the party’s vision statement for TN at the conference in Tiruchi on Sunday evening

A vast carpet of sparkling red covering acres and acres of land near Samayapuram tollgate on the Tiruchi highway, welcomes DMK leaders and cadres who have arrived here to attend the party conference, to be held on Sunday evening.

At one end of the venue is a huge dais with a ramp designed like the Rising Sun symbol of the DMK. The dais, the open space filled with red chairs, the audio systems and the giant LED screens have lent the entire conference venue the look of an event to be performed by a rockstar.

“We have made use of modem technology to reach out to the people during the elections. You can see these kinds of arrangements only in north India. The LEDs are 500-feet long and the cadres will feel as if they are standing near their leader (M.K.Stalin),” said former Minister E.Ve. Velu.

There are larger-than-life size cutouts of Dravidian movement leaders, Periyar E. V. Ramasamy, C. N. Annadurai, M. Karunanidhi and party president M.K. Stalin. Cutouts of youth wing secretary Udhyanidhi Stalin with Mr. Stalin are also seen at two places. Party flags dot either side of the road along the conference venue, every 50 feet.

Braving the scorching sun and the sweltering heat, partymen are making a beeline for the venue where Mr. Stalin will release a 10-year vision statement for Tamil Nadu. Members of the Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC), an election strategy organisation, are overseeing the arrangements for the event.

Tiruchi holds a special place in Mr. Stalin’s political career. At the 10th state conference here in 2014, Mr. Stalin witnessed his emergence as an undisputed leader of the party after his father.

“The conference is unique because a leader of a political party is unveiling a vision statement for 10 years. Even [former Prime Minister] Jawaharlal Nehru envisaged only five-year plan,” contended former Union Minister A. Raja.

Asked about the need for a vision statement when the party had prepared a manifesto for the election, Mr. Raja said: “Of course, these ideas will reflect on the manifesto as well. But the vision statement will stand out to catch the attention of the people.”

Constantine Ravindran, DMK deputy secretary, media and press relations, said the vision statement would instil confidence in the minds of people, who had borne the brunt of the price hike, particularly the hike in the price of petroleum products. “A manifesto is a collection of announcements. We have prepared the vision statement with concrete plans for its execution. It will guide the DMK government for the next 10 years,” he said.

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