While the temperature in the Fort City is rising, the poll campaign by parties is still low key, despite the fact that they have hardly one month to cover the six Assembly constituencies in Vellore. The flying and surveillance squads on the other hand are the only ones active right now, busy detecting the flow of unaccounted cash across the district.
DMDK president Vijayakant was the only leader who visited Vellore recently for a campaign and he merely asked the electorate to vote for Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as the BJP-combine had not nominated a candidate for Vellore so far. While the AIADMK has taken the lead in completing the first round of protocol meeting of the party seniors, functionaries and the cadre in the form of ‘courtesy calls’ and ‘introduction of candidate’ in the past 15 days, the DMK-combine that has fielded the IUML candidate is lagging behind. Both parties expect that things would pick up pace after the visit of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and DMK leader Stalin here.
Even though Jayalalithaa had announced the candidature of P Senguttuvan, contesting from Vellore on February 24 itself, after the initial teething problems, the candidate had launched the first phase of poll campaign on March 3, the same day the CM launched her poll campaign across the State.
The candidate introduction meetings have been conducted in all the six Assembly segments and have moved to the second phase of the campaign of meeting the electorate from Monday, said a campaign manager of the AIADMK here.
The second phase of the campaign in the Vellore city was kickstarted by the Local Administration Minister K C Veeramani, in charge of the three constituencies of Vellore, Arakkonam and Tiruvannamalai.
“We would be spending around four days each for campaigning in all the six constituencies before the CM comes here for the final touch on April 15,” he said, adding that the venue of the CM’s meeting had been fixed at Irayankadu village on the NH near Vellore, which is considered to be convenient location logistically. The DMK camp is slowly limping back to normalcy even as the uneasiness of the party cadre over the fielding of the IUML candidate for the third consecutive term in Vellore continued to rock the campaigning work. Recently, the enraged cadre smashed the windshield of the car of the candidate Abdul Rahman at K V Kuppam and cadre of the VCK also tried to show black flags at Madanur when he tried to meet functionaries of both DMK and VCK.
The DMK appears to be focusing on Arakkonam constituency right now under the guidance of the party seniors Mohamed Saqui and district secretary R Gandhi. The party has completed the first round of candidate introduction and has taken up meeting the electorate in Ranipet, Sholinghur and Tiruthani. The other three segments would be covered before month-end and the managers would focus on Vellore after Stalin’s visit here on April 1.