Marching ahead of its rivals, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) blew the poll bugle on Monday with its candidates P. Kumar and R.P. Marutharajaa – contesting from Tiruchi and Perambalur Parliamentary constituencies respectively – hitting the roads seeking support from the electorate.
Mr. Kumar, who is in the fray once again from Tiruchi , chose to kick start his campaign from the temple town of Srirangam, where his party leader and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa won the 2011 assembly polls.
Srirangam assembly constituency gave sizable votes in favour of Mr. Kumar that ultimately paved the way for his victory over Congress candidate and former Tiruchi Mayor Sarubala Tondaiman during the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
After garlanding the statues of M.G.R, Annadurai, Periyar, Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar and ‘Perumpidigu’ Mutharayar, Mr. Kumar accompanied by State Ministers Vijay Baskar, N. Subramanian, Chief Whip R. Manoharan, MLAs M. Paranjothi and Karthik Thondaiman commenced the campaign in front of the Ranga Ranga gopuram of Sri Renganathaswamy Temple. Canvassing in an open jeep with party cadre, Mr. Kumar covered the four uthirai veedhis, around the Temple appealing the voters to give a decisive mandate for the party. In a brief speech, Mr. Kumar accused DMK leader M. Karunanidhi of playing a double game on the Cauvery, Mullai Periyar and Sri Lankan Tamils issues.
Alleging that the Centre had “betrayed” the State on the Cauvery issue, Mr. Kumar said it was due to efforts of the Chief Minister that the Cauvery final award was notified.