CHENNAI: Actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Neethi Maiam (MNM) and Vijayakant’s Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) seems to have failed to impress even their party cadres as only a few are contesting in the rural local body polls in the nine districts. At the same time, Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK), led by Seeman, another cine fame, managed to field candidates for most of the district councillor seats.
Kamal and Vijayakant had barged into the political arena, declaiming to bring a change in the State’s political system but met with crushing defeats in successive elections. The debacles seem to have robbed the grassroots of their morale and confidence in their leaders. This is evident from the fact that the parties have failed to field candidates in all the district council wards in the nine districts. It may be noted that in terms of area and the number of voters, district councillors are considered just below MLAs.
Justifying the decision, one of MNM’s district-level functionaries (northern districts) told TNIE they have fielded candidates where they have potential to face the election. Commenting on the issue, Murali Appas, State Secretary (media) for MNM, told TNIE: “These are the districts (the nine going to polls soon) that were the reason for reducing our vote percentage in the last Assembly election. Now, we are trying to establish the party in rural areas as much as we can. We will gain people’s confidence in the coming days.”
One of the State functionaries of the DMDK told TNIE: “Despite facing repeated electoral failures in the past ten years since 2011, we still have fielded candidates for at least 80 per cent of seats in all levels. We would have fielded candidates for all seats if our leader, Vijayakant, had been able to campaign for us. His deteriorated health prevented our candidates from contesting in the election.”
Commenting on this, one of the district-level functionaries of the DMK told TNIE: “Most of the cadres of the MNM and the DMDK switched their loyalties either to the DMK or the AIADMK soon after the Assembly election was over.”