A day after Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami launched an early campaign for the next year’s Assembly election in Tamil Nadu, DMK President MK Stalin on Sunday came up with a ‘Mission 200’ target for his party and kickstarted the ‘WeRejectADMK’ campaign.
A perennial political prince-in-waiting, Stalin, who sees the upcoming election as his only chance to stake claim to the chief ministerial throne, made it clear to his party’s office-bearers he is aiming for nothing less than 200 seats for the DMK-led alliance in the 234-member House. The DMK has also been out of power since 2011, which makes the battle all the more dear to it.
Stalin has already been interacting with party district functionaries via videoconferencing. Second line leaders including his actor-son and youth wing leader Udhayanidhi Stalin and half-sister Kanimozhi, who heads the party women’s wing, have hit the streets as part of ‘Vidiyalai Nokki, Stalinin Kural’ (Stalin’s Voice for a Dawn) programme.
However, the ‘WeRejectADMK’ that seeks to highlight the “lack of governance” by the Palaniswami Government is the main political campaign of the party. Calling upon his party functionaries to ensure the defeat of every state minister in the election, Stalin said 1,600 DMK functionaries would visit 16,000 villages and wards to conduct Gram Sabha meetings in which resolutions will be adopted against the AIADMK Government. The Gram Sabha meetings would be held from December 23, 2020 to January 10, 2021. The DMK, incidentally, had outshone the AIADMK in the rural local body polls held last year.
The party hopes issues such as the AIADMK allegedly playing second fiddle to the BJP at the Centre, the failure to get exemption from NEET for Tamil Nadu and overall distress in the economy would tilt the electoral scales in its favour.
This year Tamil Nadu is witnessing an unusual trend in leaders of different parties launching their poll campaign months before in advance. Tamil Nadu is set to go to polls during April-May 2021. The battle is likely to be a multi-cornered one with the AIADMK and the DMK facing newer players including film stars Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan.
On Monday Umesh Sinha, secretary general, Election Commission along with a high-level delegation comprising Sudeep Jain, Deputy Election Commissioner, Ashish Kundra, Deputy Election Commissioner, HRSrinivasa, Chief Electoral Officer, Bihar, Pankaj Srivatsava, Director and Malay Mallick, Secretary, Election Commission of India will be visiting Chennai to assess the preparedness for the general elections. The visit would last two days.