OTHERS

Ready for a cameo role

THE STAR campaigner-cum-propaganda secretary came, he did not see and sped away.

Behind, an auto full of rising sun partymen hurried in top speed, shouting: ``anna we are here, anna we are here.''

By the time Anna's people heard, it was a good couple of km past the intended spot, Guindy. ``But we were told the meeting was at Kathipara...,'' said a campaign volunteer peeping out from a Tata Sumo, which was faithfully following the racing Tempo traveller.

``No annae. We were all waiting there. The chairman too is there,'' explained an Alandurite, pointing to the winding road, Guindy-ward. ``Just five minutes. We can just go through this road on the left. One speech please,'' he implored.

T. Rajender had in fact come for just that. He agreed. Thus began the actor-director-lyricist-cameraman-musician-singer- writer- politician's action-packed State-wide tour campaign.

The Tempo traveller wound its way through the narrow roads, even as cell phones beeped and wireless sets crackled all around to get the chairman and other important men apart from clueless shutterbugs and pressmen to the scene of the all- important speech.

At one junction, the surging crowd of children and youth halted the two-auto, one Tempo, one Sumo convoy. It was time for some vote-talk.

True to style, T. Rajender, who clambered on to the podium right inside the multi-purpose vehicle and began his rhyme-rhyme-rhyme speech. The next five minutes he touched upon `Uzhavar' and `Oozhal,' the former Chief Minister's footwear and jewel collection; her disqualification and the virtues of the Election Commission, the grand schemes of Kalaignar `aatchi' and the scheming `greats' of the earlier Government.

Hence, he said, remember the television when you walk into a polling booth on D-day, May 10. For that is the symbol of the candidate contesting as part of the DMK-front from Alandur. The contestant himself was nowhere to be seen. One DMK party worker said that the candidate, the MGR Kazhagam president, Mr. R. M. Veerappan, who in his earlier avataar was one of the longest serving AIADMK Ministers, was busy in his own campaign elsewhere.

By R.K.Radhakrishnan

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