CHENNAI: DMK president and Chief Minister M K Stalin on Sunday exhorted his party cadres to work with enthusiasm to emerge victorious in the upcoming urban civic polls and by reminding the people of the 'struggles' endured by Tamil Nadu during the 2011-21 AIADMK regime.
Stalin asked party workers to expose the BJP's 'destructive, communal' politics and lashed out at the main opposition AIADMK for uttering only 'lies.
The DMK's 'Dravidian model' of good governance and inclusive growth based on the ideals of social justice, self-respect, religious harmony, and non-discrimination based on caste is the party's tool in the urban civic polls," Stalin told the party workers in an open letter.
The urban civic polls for 12,838 posts in corporations, municipalities, and town panchayats are scheduled to be held on February 19 in a single phase. The counting of votes would be taken up on February 22.
The DMK chief asked cadres to work with gusto for the urban local body polls by reaching out to the people on the party-led government's good governance, achievements and welfare initiatives despite the financial burden faced by the state government.
Stalin asked DMK office-bearers and workers to remind the people about the 'struggles' endured by Tamil Nadu during the AIADMK rule for 10 years, between 2011-21.
" The principal opposition party with an evil thought is uttering only lies every day in order to besmirch the good name of the DMK government among the people," the Chief Minister alleged. "Tell the people that only now the light has begun to shine."
Targeting the BJP, Stalin alleged that the national party was trying to sow the seeds of religious chauvinism among the people and stoke communal violence so as to gain political mileage. "Such 'communal, destructive' politics of the BJP should be uncovered," he told DMK workers.
Slamming the AIADMK and BJP who are allies, Stalin said both the parties are against the people's welfare and were together trying to ruin Tamil Nadu and this has to be conveyed to the electorate. "Remind the people about their unique quality of not giving room for communal politics," he said.
Stalin's allegation against the Saffron party comes close on the heels of the BJP seeking 'justice' for the suicide of a 17-year old girl, a school student, and inmate of a hostel run by that institution in Thanjavur district.
Some in the school were accused of coercing her to convert to Christianity. The school management has however rejected that allegation.
Stalin said the Secular Democratic Alliance led by the DMK in Tamil Nadu is not a mere arrangement among parties for elections but it is a coalition built on ideology and hence the 'pure friendliness' should continue.
The CM advised his party office-bearers to work towards allocating an appropriate number of seats to allies in their respective areas without giving room for any friction with functionaries of alliance parties.
The selection of DMK nominees for polls should be done impartially, in a disciplined manner and the process should be similar to the stringent norms followed for recruiting candidates for the Armed forces.
Those facing criminal cases should not be chosen as party nominees, he advised party office-bearers.
After choosing candidates, party men should work for their victory, and similarly, party office-bearers and workers should wholeheartedly work and extend their full cooperation for the success of candidates of alliance parties.
The DMK chief told the party workers to seek votes by underscoring the achievements of the party-led government and the welfare initiatives implemented despite severe financial constraints.
"The effective handling of the second and third waves of the COVID-19 pandemic should be underlined," he said.
Similar to previous civic poll victories, "let us win the urban civic polls and take forward the good governance," he added. In the 2019 rural civic polls and in elections to rural local bodies in 9 other districts including Kanchipuram, the DMK emerged victoriously.
The Rs 4,000 COVID-19 cash relief, slashing the price of state-run 'Aavin' milk by Rs 3 per liter, fare-free travel in town buses for women were among the pre-poll promises that have been fulfilled by the DMK government which assumed power in May 2021.
Recently, Stalin had said that his government had fulfilled over 300 electoral promises out of the 500 plus assurances made in the run-up to the Assembly elections held in April 2021.