BJP to rope in star campaigners for taking on AIADMK

The Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) on Saturday dismissed the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) as a lightweight party in the Madurai Lok Sabha constituency and asked its cadres to ignore it in their election campaign.

While the DMDK is openly stating that its fight in the ensuing election is only with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in Madurai, the party’s ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is echoing the same view in its internal meetings.

Speaking at the first election strategy meeting in the DMDK office here on Saturday, Theni Murugesan, State deputy secretary of the party, said, “The fight is only between the AIADMK and the DMDK in this constituency. Madurai is our stronghold, and that is why we have chosen to fight from here.”

The DMDK’s five-member election committee, comprising Theni Murugesan, A.K.T. Raja, MLA, Balachander, Mujibur Rehman and Chandra, held a closed-door meeting with key office-bearers here to work out the poll strategy.

The committee also had a meeting with Madurai Lok Sabha candidate D. Sivamuthukumar and a few local leaders on holding campaign meetings. “We faced many elections independently and secured good numbers of votes. The fact that Madurai figured in the first list announced by our party chief Vijayakant shows our confidence,” said Mr.Murugesan.

The BJP’s district leaders have already initiated steps to develop a good rapport among the cadres of the NDA allies, and their full-fledged campaign begins next week.

“It is essential to develop intimacy between the BJP and the DMDK at the ground level. The base work has already begun, and we are going to each ward. Our aim is to defeat the AIADMK in Madurai since we feel the DMK is no competition here,” C. Saseeraman, BJP’s Madurai Parliamentary constituency in-charge, told The Hindu on Saturday.

He said the party district unit had requested national leaders, including Narendra Modi, Sushma Swaraj and M. Venkaiah Naidu, to address campaign meetings in Madurai. “We are waiting for star campaigners, and leaders like Vijayakant and Vaiko will give momentum to our campaign,” Mr.Saseeraman noted.