Having stolen a march by announcing her party candidates well ahead of Lok Sabha elections, AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa will launch her whirlwind campaign tomorrow from the temple and silk district of Kancheepuram. Even as her major rivals DMK, DMDK and BJP are still scouting for partners, Jayalalithaa is setting out on a gruelling over a month-long electioneering in the first phase covering 19 of the 40 Lok Sabha constituencies at stake, including one in neighbouring Puducherry.
During her campaigning, Jayallithaa, who has been aspiring for a major role for her party and herself in the national level since trouncing the DMK in the 2011 assembly polls, will drum up support from the electorate for an impressive haul.
Jayalalithaa has sewed up an alliance with CPI and CPI-M but the seat sharing exercise was yet to be completed. Though AIADMK has announced candidates for all 40 seats, she has said her party would withdraw the nominees from the seats that are allocated to the Left.
AIADMK had won nine seats in the 2009 elections and in the upcoming polls Jayalalithaa is eyeing to sweep all the 40 seats so that her party could have a big say in the next government to be formed at the centre.
With this in mind, she had promised in the AIADMK manifesto, released last week, to extend populist schemes like distribution of free mixies, grinders, fans, milch cows and goats across the country if her party was elected to be a part of the next government.
The AIADMK supremo is expected to make the performance of her three-year old government as one of the main planks and highlight the populist schemes such as low-cost eateries (Amma canteen), mineral water (Amma Water) and Amma Pharmacies to the woo the voters. Sri Lankan Tamils issue and attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen by the island navy are other major issues Jayalalithaa was expected to take up.
The first phase campaign, being launched even before the Election Commission announcing the calender for the polls, would cover several regions of Tamil Nadu, including Chidambaram, Nagapattinam and Kanyakumari in the south and end on April 5.