Madurai

Electioneering ends in districts

DMK candidate A.L.S. Lakshmanan finishes his election campaign in Tirunelveli on Sunday.  

TIRUNELVELI

The brief but intense electioneering for the Assembly polls came to an end on Sunday evening as the electorate will cast their votes to elect the new Assembly on Tuesday (April 6).

Though the electioneering was so animated with the visit of the political leaders, no untoward incident was reported so far in any part of Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Thoothukudi and Kanniyakumari districts.

The tone for the electioneering was set by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who started his 3-day roadshow in all these four districts from Thoothukudi on February 27. Besides addressing the voters from his campaign vehicle, the young leader met the advocates, saltpan workers, academicians, beedi workers and self-help group members, small and marginal businessmen and the students. The leaders’ casual approach with the participants of these meetings did have indelible impact on them.

Top leaders and star campaigners of all political parties – right from Prime Minster Narendra Modi to Tamil Maanila Congress president G.K. Vasan – canvassed votes for their candidates and the contestants of alliance parties fielded in the Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Thoothukudi and Kanniyakumari districts.

Both Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and DMK president M.K. Stalin visited the southern districts twice for electioneering in the southern districts as part of their crisscross election campaign.

Mr. Modi, in a bid to woo the Christian voters of Kanniyakumari district during his electioneering in the southernmost tip of the country, made a special mention about Good Friday and recalled the services of sacrifices of Jesus Christ.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who visited Tirunelveli on Saturday, targeted the Congress and the DMK of having nurtured only family rule all these years while ignoring the welfare of the country.

While all the nominations of major political parties were accepted, the rejection of nomination by Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam candidate for Tirunelveli constituency Balakrishnan alias Paul Kannan triggered ripples in the political circles. It was expected that Mr. Paul Kannan would split sizable number of votes of the AIADMK and the votes of Thevar and Yadhava communities to spoil the party of BJP candidate for this segment Nainar Nagenthran, state vice-president of the national party. However, his nomination was rejected during scrutiny. The reason was that the electoral roll part number mentioned for two of the ten voters proposed Mr. Paul Kannan had been erroneously mentioned.

Though the AMMK men gathered at the Returning Officer’s Office till 10 p.m. on the day of scrutiny and the party’s advocates exerted pressure on Returning Officer Sivakrishnamurthy with some clarifications and explanations, there was no change in the decision of rejecting the nomination, which brightened the poll prospects of Mr. Nagenthran, who is giving a tough competition to DMK candidate and sitting MLA A.L.S. Lakshmanan.

After targeting the AIADMK during his election campaign in Thoothukudi, T.T.V. Dhinakaran of Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhgam, who is contesting in Kovilpatti Assembly constituency to give sleepless nights for sitting MLA and ruling party candidate for this town Kadambur C. Raju, squarely targeted the DMK while addressing the voters during his electioneering in Tirunelveli and Tenkasi districts.

Thoothukudi district’s Kovilpatti segment is witnessing intense tri-corner contest among Mr. Dhinakaran, Mr. Raju and CPI (M)’s K. Srinivasan. While Mr. Raju is harping on his “achievements”, Mr. Dhinakaran sharp criticism of the ruling party and its failures made the sitting MLAs election campaign tough. After a visibly disturbed Mr. Raju allegedly verbally abused a flying squad team when his vehicle was checked under Naalaattinpudhur police station limits and a case was registered subsequently based on the complaint preferred by the flying squad team leader. And, the Minister had to approach the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court to get anticipatory bail.

Minister for Adi Dravida Welfare and ruling party’s candidate for Sankarankovil (Reserved) constituency V.M. Rajalakshmi and AIADMK candidate for Vasudevanallur (Reserved) segment A. Manoharan had to face stiff resistance from the voters in several areas where Thevar community voters live in large number, who objected to the internal reservation given to Vanniyar community. They could not even enter the villages housing Thevar community voters.

The social media post on the postal ballot cast by teacher Krishnaveni of Tenkasi district led to the arrest of her husband Ganesa Pandian and one Senthil Kumar who posted it on the social media after another woman teacher was wrongly dragged into this episode.

While the District Electoral Officers constantly conducted poll awareness campaigns in their respective areas, the police regularly conducted marches in all the police station limits to tell the voters that there was no need for fear and panic as the police stationed in their area would ensure their safety during the election. Apart from the Deputy Superintendents of the sub-divisions, the Superintendents of Police and the Central Armed Paramilitary Force personnel too participated in these marches which meant a lot for the public.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 1:09:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/electioneering-ends-in-districts/article34238024.ece

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