CHENNAI: With the picture in poll bound RK Nagar looking clear with parties announcing their candidates, all eyes are on the constituency. Ever since raising a banner of revolt in the AIADMK, known for its military-like discipline, former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam has been hogging the limelight.
Now, E Madhusudhanan, twice the dummy candidate for late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in the constituency, set to take on Sasikala faction’s de facto head TTV Dinakaran, the focus has shifted to the septuagenarian leader. Excerpts of an interview with him.
In the backdrop of your party suffering a split, how do you feel entering the poll arena after a very long time?
Although I had been in the good books of Amma, I could not get a chance to contest the polls due to Sasikala. Now, I am contesting the elections to strengthen the Dharma Yudham we (the rebels) have launched against those responsible for Amma’s sad end.
What are your key promises to the voters in RK Nagar?
We are going to release an election manifesto soon explaining what we are going to do. However, serving the people of the constituency is my motto. I will strive for resolving their problems and improving their livelihood. They know me well and the schemes I brought to RK Nagar when I represented it during 1991-96.
In a multi-cornered contest that looks very tough, how do you see your prospects?
I entered into the fray relying upon Amma’s blessings and the good will she had for me. I was her dummy candidate when she contested elections in 2015 by-poll and 2016 general election. This testifies her blessings for me. It will ensure my victory.
Isn’t TTV Dinakaran, the candidate of Sasikala faction, a tough contender?
Not at all. He is not a contender but an outsider. He is seen more as a member of the Mannargudi clan and not as a member of our party. You come and see the sentiments of the people of my constituency where I have been staying for more than half-a-century. They all are against Dinakaran. Our party supporters are with us. We are the true AIADMK.
What is your poll strategy given the power he is able to wield?
We all (OPS camp) are devising our own strategy to counter money and muscle power. I am afraid he is going to throw huge amount of money to influence the voters and thugs to intimidate them. We have our own tactics to counter this.