Vote catchers MK, Kanimozhi to give Nilgiris a Miss
With the DMK choosing to field its sitting member of Parliament A Raja from The Nilgiris for the forthcoming Lok Sabha election despite his 2G scam taint, you might have imagined the party would pull out all stops to ensure his victory. But a bare reading of the campaign itinerary of party biggies suggests Raja, the party’s Dalit face, would be left to fend for himself.
Remember Raja intends to package the election into a sort of referendum, claiming he will get a clean chit from the ‘people’s court’.
For that to happen the party ought to have planned to send its biggest vote pullers to the constituency.
But, two biggies — patriarch M Karunanidhi and his daughter Kanimozhi — will be missing in action at The Nilgiris. While DMK’s heir apparent M K Stalin and actor Kushbu will visit the constituency, it is uncertain whether tokenism will be enough to rustle up the numbers at the hustings. Significantly, Karunanidhi will launch his campaign in western Tamil Nadu from Coimbatore, but skip neighbouring Nilgiris. Why?
“The tour programme was drawn considering the advanced age of our leader. It would be very demanding to travel by road up the hill. Even at this old age he has been shouldering party work. Thalapathi (Stalin) is campaigning in Nilgiris,” explains Tiruchy N Siva, Rajya Sabha MP and a propaganda secretary.
“I will be also canvassing for Raja,” he adds. However, he didn’t say why Kanimozhi was kept away from The Nilgiris.
But that hasn’t affected Raja’s morale. Himself a good orator and a meticulous organiser, the former minister has been campaigning for the party in Ariyalur and Perambalur, his stronghold.
Anxious to erase the stain of corruption, he says, “Though I am a candidate in The Nilgiris, Perambalur and Ariyalur are my home turf. Hence, I stand before you to be judged.” Will he get acquittal?