“I am not going to any hill station,” says Stalin; Anbumani in Tindivanam

After sweating it out for the Lok Sabha election campaign that went beyond a month, political leaders in Tamil Nadu are preparing to take a break from a tough and exhaustive schedule.

“I need tonnes of sleep first,” said the former Union Minister and PMK candidate for Dharmapuri, Anbumani Ramadoss, who returned to Tindivanam on Wednesday night to cast his vote. His second priority, Mr Anbumani said, was to spend time with his children and arrange for the birthday celebration for his youngest daughter.

“We could not celebrate her birthday last year as on that day I was produced before the magistrate in connection with political developments that followed the Marakkanam riots. We had a small cake, and she cut it in a room adjacent to the Magistrate,” Mr. Anbumani recalled. He also decided to have a brief holiday with his family.

“I am certainly not going to any hill station to take rest,” quipped DMK treasurer M.K. Stalin, breaking into laughter, even as he was on his way to meet the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) on Wednesday to complain against the ruling party for alleged distribution of money to voters.

Mr. Stalin, who emerged as a star campaigner for the DMK and its allies, said he would spend a few days with his family members before resuming his routine work. “Even otherwise I am travelling throughout the year for party work. During election time, I have to work aggressively,” said Mr. Stalin, who votes in Chennai.

CPI(M) State secretary G. Ramakrishnan said he had slept only for five hours a day, and the continuous tour denied him his regular reading. “I missed a lot and they have piled up. My first priority is to finish reading them. After that, I will concentrate on party work,” he said.

Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi leader Thol. Thirumavalavan, who is contesting from Chidambaram, said that being free from campaigning now, he still had a long list of party programmes to attend to in the coming days. “As the leader of a party, I had to campaign for others also. But this time I limited my tour to other areas and campaigned only in Tiruvallur, Mayiladuthurai and Nagapattinam. In fact, I covered only 60 per cent of my constituency.”

Mr. Thirumavalavan said he had to catch up with some sleep because during the campaign, he had to be content with only two to three hours of rest a day.

However, the real pick of the day came from Sasikala, close confidante of the AIADMK leader and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, who visited the Kaatu Veera Anjaneyar temple in Krishnagiri, performed some rituals and offered prayers.

Ms. Sasikala, who reached the temple at 9.05 a.m., witnessed ‘Abhishekam’ and ‘Archana’ performed to the deity. A special prayer was offered on behalf of the Chief Minister. Sources in the temple told The Hindu that she had brought a large quantity of flowers and fruits. The temple dates back to the period of Vijayanagara King Krishna Devaraya.