In a star-push to its poll campaign, the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has roped in an assorted set of film and television personalities, who will tour Tamil Nadu from March 11.
A majority of the 20 star campaigners chosen by party leader Jayalalithaa have their roots in the film industry. Besides actor-turned-politicians R. Ramarajan, former MP, and C.R. Saraswathi, Chairperson, Tamil Nadu Social Welfare Board, the list included comedians Senthil, Gundu Kalyanam and Ponnambalam. Film director Nanjil P.C. Anbalagan, lyrist Muthulingam, actors Vindhya, Kuyili, and Anandraj were among others.
‘Vennira Aadai’ Nirmala, who recently joined the AIADMK, was introduced to Tamil cinema along with Ms. Jayalalithaa in the 1965 Tamil commercial hit ‘Vennira Aadai’. She had lost to Ms. Jayalalithaa in Bodi in 1989. Ms. Nirmala’s name also figures in the list of frontline speakers. Actor Singamuthu, who worked with popular comedian Vadivelu in several movies and later got into a bitter legal tangle with him, has been roped in to showcase the party’s achievements and seek votes for its candidates. Mr. Vadivelu had campaigned extensively for the DMK in the 2011 Assembly election. After the party suffered a debacle, the comedian, who then was at the peak of his career, was completely sidelined in the industry.
The party has also named fiery speaker Nanjil Sampath and former Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Minister Parithi Ilamvazhuthi, known for his sarcastic oratory. The party has directed poll committee teams formed in all the 40 Lok Sabha constituencies to extend support to these campaigners. Tamil Nadu has a history of politics that is entwined with the film industry and actors are known to draw a good crowd during election campaign.