With the exception of G.K.Vasan, none of top leaders have toured the region

Constituency watch: Tamil Nadu

Even while the election fever is at its peak, simmering differences among the leaders which has come out in the open is affecting the prospects of candidates of some major parties in the central districts.

Failure of these leaders to close ranks and rise to the occasion, at a time when the prestige of their parties is at stake, has come as a shock not only to the grassroots level workers, but also the leadership of respective parties. With just three days left for the curtains on campaigning to come down, the activists of these parties expect their leaders to put up a united fight in the interest of protecting the image of the party.

The Congress unit in the district is at a disadvantage in the absence of support from any other political party in the State.

Overcoming this initial hiccup, the party candidates launched a vigorous campaign. But their efforts appear to be inadequate as top leaders have not given them the necessary support.

With the exception of G.K. Vasan, Union Ministers have not campaigned in Tiruchi constituency in support of the party candidate Sarubala Tondaiman. Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram is busy campaigning in his home constituency of Sivaganga, where his son Karti is in the fray. The Congress cadre expect him to campaign in the nearby Tiruchi, Perambalur, and Karur constituencies at least in the remaining days.

E.M. Sudarsana Natchiappan, another Union Minister hailing from Sivaganga constituency, has not campaigned in the central region so far, so has former union ministers like Jayanthi Natarajan. This despite a veteran like Mani Shankar Aiyar and national secretary of the Mahila Congress S. Jothimani being in the fray in Mayiladuthurai and Karur constituencies respectively.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has fielded Mu. Anbazhagan and Seemanur Prabhu, both supporters of the DMK heavyweight K.N. Nehru in Tiruchi and Perambalur respectively.

To ensure smooth going for them, the party leadership appointed Mr. Nehru’s arch rival and another senior leader of the party N. Selvaraj as in-charge of the Nagapattinam-reserved constituency.

The party directed yet another senior leader Tiruchi N. Siva, MP, to campaign for the party throughout the State. Although both of them belong to Tiruchi city, they are yet to campaign in Tiruchi and Perambalur constituencies.

Activists of the DMK feel that both these moves have given adequate manoeuvring space for Mr. Nehru to plan his strategy without any interference. However, he has to prove a point to justify the faith reposed in him, they argue.

The situation in the AIADMK camp is no different, the party activists point out.

Though groupism has not come in to the open, fearing disciplinary action by the party supremo, it is expected to affect the prospects of the party, they say.