TN Polls: AIADMK, DMK in Battle Gear; Cong in Disarray
Two major Dravidian parties, AIADMK and DMK have already plunged into the poll battle ground in Tamil Nadu, while the much touted BJP led grand alliance still immersed in parleys with partners and the Congress left in lurch scouring for a strategy.
With about three weeks remaining for the issue of notification by electoral authorities to set in motion the poll process on March 29, AIADMK's poll preparations were in a full swing with the party supremo Jayalalithaa after completing first round of electioneering and setting out on second and final phase from today.
Jayalalithaa, the only star campaigner for AIADMK, will be traversing across the state from Chidamabaram today and winds up her electioneering in Chennai on April 21, the day the public campaign ends.
DMK, donned the poll battle gear since yesterday after announcing candidates for all the 40 seats it and its allies would contest in Tamil Nadu and also the lone seat in neighbouring Puducherry and unveiled manifesto, promising to fight for the cause of Tamils, an issue which would be the main plank of all political outfits in this election.
DMK Treasurer M K Stalin, affectionately called "dalapathi" (Commander) by partymen, is launching campaign from March 14 and his father M Karunanidhi, the party supremo, was expected to tour some key segments in the state.
The initial euphoria that surrounded the formation of a formidable alliance involving BJP, DMDK, MDMK and other local outfits seemed to have hit the shaky ground, in the backdrop of lack of agreement on seat sharing among partners.
Sources in BJP say, some of the players like actor turned politician Vijayakanth's DMDK and Vanniyar community strong man PMK's S Ramadoss have been insisting for same constituencies in pockets of Tamil Nadu, which has become a bone of contention in finalising the seats.
Meanwhile, A cursory glance at the AIADMK and DMK's general election manifestoes shows that the two arch rivals are on the same page on some economic issues.
Though there is some semblance of political activity in various other parties, the plight of Congress is pathetic as the Sonia Gandhi led party has been pushed to corners in the backdrop of Dravidian parties refusal to forge tie up for the polls.
The Congress High Command, which is in dark and groping for poll strategy was yet to announce its plans for Tamil Nadu where it won nine seats in alliance with DMK in 2009.