'In Poll Fray to Save Those Who gave Life for Cause'
PMANE leader S P Udayakumar, who is spearheading the protest against the Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project, has decided to take the plunge into electoral politics to find an alternative political space at the Centre outside the Congress and the BJP.
In his musings on his Facebook page, Udayakumar said that two lakh people, who had reposed faith in him and his friends and joined the agitation had made several sacrifices and now face about 350 cases. They have to be pulled out of the quagmire they are now caught in.
He said he decided to take the electoral route despite being fully aware that he lacked the financial muscle or mass support or political backing to win a Lok Sabha election. For, he thought he could protect the people supporting him in the protest only by contesting the election. Though he was aware the common man would not support him in his electoral pursuit, as awareness on issues like Koodankulam, GAIL pipeline and methane exploration and extraction was abysmally low in Tamil Nadu, he felt gaining a political voice in Delhi was the one way to stop the implementation of anti-Tamil Nadu projects.
He was confident that the Aam Admi Party (AAP) would win considerable number of seats in the Lok Sabha polls and could be pressured to speak for the causes of Tamil Nadu like the anti-people’s projects and also on other controversial issues like Cauvery, Mullaiperiyar and Hogenakkal.
By entering the electoral fray in Kanyakumari, Udayakumar, however, would change the voting pattern in the constituency, where both the Congress and the BJP have strong vote banks. It is one Lok Sabha seat (earlier it was Nagercoil constituency) that was held by BJP once and had seen Congress candidates holding on to it like a pocket borough. Even now, three MLAs there belong to the Congress. Udayakumar hopes to garner the anti-Congress and anti-BJP votes.
In Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi, where Congress has a good support base, AAP candidates from the anti-KKNPP movement are likely to get sympathy votes, particularly in view of the fact that the agitation has been sustained for such a long time – it entered its 917th day on Monday.