Tamil Nadu 2021 elections: DMK chief’s son kicks off 75-day campaign ahead of polls

DMK youth wing leader Udhayanidhi Stalin on Friday launched his party’s 75-day campaign ahead of the Tamil Nadu assembly elections due early next year with senior leaders set to highlight the “improper administration” of the AIADMK government.

Udhayanidhi, son of DMK president M K Stalin, launched the campaign from Tirukkuvalai here, the birth place of late party chief M Karunanidhi, and said in a tweet he had embarked on the campaign to take the message of his father to various parts of the state to end the “darkness that has engulfed Tamil Nadu.” Assembly elections in the state are due in April-May.

The campaign titled “Vidiyalai Nokki Stalinin Kural” (Stalin’s voice towards dawn) will cover all 234 assembly segments.

A DMK release said party’s Women’s Wing leader and Lok Sabha MP Kanimozhi, former Ministers K Ponmudi and I Periyasamy among others will tour different parts of the state as part of the campaign.

“The leaders will explain to people party President’s (Stalin) slogan of walking towards a new dawn by rejecting the ruling AIADMK’s atrocities and administrative lapses”, it said.

In Chennai, DMK Principal Secretary K N Nehru said 15 top leaders of the party will address 1,500 meetings in 75 days, while Stalin is expected to hit the campaign trail in January.

Nehru, a former minister, said since prohibitory orders, barring large crowds for political gathering among others, were in force due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Stalin was expected to hold election rallies from January.

“But he (Stalin) is in touch with people through video conference. There will be crowd if he goes for public meetings..after January he will start the campaigning,” Nehru said.

The DMK is keen to wrest power from arch-rival AIADMK in the state where it has been in opposition for the last over nine years.

The party was routed in the 2011 assembly polls when the late J Jayalalithaa led her party to an emphatic victory and tasted defeat again in 2016, before bouncing back with a strong performance in last year’s Lok Sabha elections.

The party-led alliance, also comprising Congress, won 38 of the 39 Parliament seats in Tamil Nadu, besides the lone Puducherry seat, leaving just one to the AIADMK, in the first major election in the state held after the demise of Jayalalithaa and DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi in 2016 and 2018 respectively.

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