Madurai

Intra-party squabble hits DMK’s electioneering in Tirunelveli

The intra-party feud, which is hampering DMK candidate S. Gnana Thiraviam’s campaign, spilled onto the streets on Thursday when an ‘isolated group’ comprising former minister and Palayamkottai MLA T.P.M. Mohideen Khan and former MLA N. Maalairaja started canvassing votes for the party without the candidate.

Even as the district unit of the DMK expected the party’s east district presidium chairman, Graham Bell, to be fielded for Tirunelveli Lok Sabha constituency, Mr. Gnana Thiraviam, reportedly with the backing of Mr. Mohideen Khan, won the first round of the ‘battle’.

After filing of nomination, in which Mr. Mohideen Khan was not allowed to accompany the candidate, DMK Tirunelveli City, Rural and East district units started the election campaign but on a lacklustre note.

“While DMK Tirunelveli city district secretary Abdul Wahab tried his level best to get the ticket for Palayamkottai segment in 2016 Assembly polls, Mr. Mohideen Khan, who represented the seat thrice since 2001, was given the ticket again that deepened the divide. And, it gets reflected in the electioneering also,” said a DMK office-bearer.

After being kept in the dark ever since electioneering started, the ‘isolated group’ led by Mr. Mohideen Khan and Mr. Maalairaja began the election campaign from Lourdhunathan Statue on Thursday evening without the candidate, who was electioneering elsewhere.

“As the ‘captive’ candidate is being taken around by office-bearers who are not comfortable with our presence during electioneering, we are canvassing votes for the party’s ‘Rising Sun’ symbol,” said a supporter of Mr. Mohideen Khan while canvassing for votes along South Bazaar in Palayamkottai on Thursday evening.

Mr. Gnana Thiraviam too is not reportedly satisfied with the arrangements being made by party office-bearers in every area.

Senior party leaders like Suba. Seetharaman are now working overtime to bring about cohesiveness among office-bearers in a bid to strengthen and accelerate the campaign. “Everything will be alright soon and our candidate will win the battle,” Mr. Seetharaman said.

“Even as the electioneering of AMMK candidate [S. Michael Rayappan] is getting the much-needed acceleration at the right moment and the ruling party is making all-out efforts to shed its ‘anti-minority’ image owing to its alliance with the BJP, our candidate’s poll-preparations are getting marred by intra-party differences that are very much regrettable. We are not fully prepared to tap the anti-incumbency. It should not be a ‘hare and tortoise’ race at the end,” said a senior DMK functionary here said.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 12:08:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/intra-party-squabble-hits-dmks-electioneering-in-tirunelveli/article26748176.ece

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