ARIYALUR: DMK cadre here are upset, as an Independent candidate in Kunnam has been allotted the ‘pot’ symbol.
This could split their votes, they fear, since DMK ally VCK’s symbol is also a pot. The alliance’s candidate in Kunnam is DMK’s SS Sivashankar, who is contesting on the ‘rising sun’ symbol.
But cadre fear people might now vote for Independent candidate Ravanan assuming he’s from the VCK. DMK supporters noticed the allotment of the ‘pot’ symbol when they saw the postal ballots.
Besides being allotted the ‘pot’ symbol for this election, VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan won the 2019 Parliamentary election from Chidambaram constituency on the same symbol.
“Kunnam Assembly constituency falls under Chidambaram Parliamentary constituency. Even then, VCK was DMK’s ally. DMK cadre canvassed for the ‘pot’ symbol to make Thirumavalavan win,” said Selvam Dhanaraj, a DMK cadre canvassing for SS Sivashankar in Kunnam.
“Even today, you can see the ‘pot’ symbol VCK cadre painted on houses in 2019. It’s not fair that the symbol was allotted to another candidate,” he alleged.
Besides, the VCK has a good foothold in Kunnam, which houses a sizeable Dalit population. In 2019, SS Sivashankar, being a popular leader, canvassed for Thirumavalavan.
Presently, the VCK is contesting in six constituencies.
The ballot sheet had another problem for DMK cadre — a candidate was allotted the symbol of a glowing pen (olirum pena).
“The glowing pen has lines around a fountain-pen nib, which is similar to the rays of the sun in the DMK’s symbol,” Selvam said.
DMK cadre asked how the Election Commission even came up with such a symbol.
“I know what the other symbols are, or have at least heard of those objects. But I’ve never heard of a glowing pen,” Selvam exclaimed, adding that the ECI must consider the confusions that could arise when allotting symbols.
Cause of confusion
Those who work outside Kunnam and come here to vote may be misled, Dhanaraj said. “They might get confused on seeing the pot symbol, which they voted for in 2019”