Election fever has started gripping the central region, with the campaigns by arch rivals Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the only major party to finalise alliance so far, and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, which is going alone for the first time, already set in motion – albeit on a low key.

Though the BJP-led front is yet to seal the deal with allies, the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidate A..M.G.Vijayakumar, by virtue of the presence of his name in the first list of candidates, too joined the campaign trail a couple of days ago. The two candidates of the CPI (M) in Tiruchi and Thanjavur, S.Sridhar and S.Tamil Selvi, are the latest to join the campaign race. The AIADMK candidates of all the six constituencies in the central region – Tiruchi, Thanjavur, Mayiladuthurai, Karur, Perambalur, and Nagapattinam (reserved) – have already hit the road with their entourage complete with band troupes and folk artistes.

Film stars C.R.Saraswathi, Fatima Babu, Senthil, and Singamuthu have already covered some constituencies in the last few days. The AIADMK candidates seek votes recalling the achievements of the State government and the good work done by the MPs in the last Lok Sabha. They also doled out attractive assurances, mainly based on the local needs, to attract voters.

The party supremo Jayalalithaa had already addressed election meetings in Nagapattinam and Mayiladuthurai constituencies last week.

The DMK nominees and its alliance partner Manithaneya Makkal Katchi candidate in Mayiladuthurai too are criss-crossing the length and breadth of their respective constituencies. A high-profile campaigning is unveiling in Thanjavur seat, where T. R. Baalu, a senior DMK leader, is in the fray. The Tiruchi district secretary of the DMK, K.N.Nehru, is spearheading the party’s campaign in Tiruchi and Perambalur .

The Tiruchi CPI (M) candidate, who has been meeting the party office bearers of both the left parties formally launched the campaign in the Tiruchi junction area.

Though the Congress has not released its candidates’ list, senior leader P.Chidambaram launched the party’s campaign in Sivagangai constituency yesterday. He addressed many meetings in the villages which formed part of Alangudi Assembly segment of the constituency. Mani Shankar Aiyar, another senior leader and aspirant for Mayiladuthurai seat, has also launched the campaign.

Once the parties such as BJP, CPI, MDMK, and PMK firm up their candidates and summer advances, things are likely to heat up in the central districts.