Chennai: Despite of the non-existence of charismatic leader J. Jayalalithaa and the magic ‘two leaves’ party symbol, the RK Nagar bypoll may not be an cinch for main opposition DMK, as AIADMK (Amma) candidate T.T.V. Dhinakaran is shocking opponents by pulling out too many tricks out of his hat.
The DMK which challenged J. Jayalalithaa in the 2016 Assembly elections and got about 33 percent votes is anticipated to crush its main rival AIADMK which has split into 2 camps and fighting an horrible battle in RK Nagar with one faction blaming the other for Jayalalithaa’s death.
When Dhinakaran’s name was publicized as the AIADMK (Amma) nominee, there was extensive hatred in the constituency and it was doubtful if he would be able to campaign freely in the RK Nagar. But then again the circumstances had severely changed in the last 2 weeks with AIADMK ministers and top representatives fanning out to nook and corner of the constituency and almost living among them.
While the DMK and AIADMK (PTA) had appointed one functionary in charge of 100 voters, the AIADMK (Amma) has 2 men in charge of 25 voters. Bestowing to AIADMK reps, T.T.V. Dhinakaran’s men are in regular touch with the voters everyday looking after their daily needs and family problems. Though, they denied that they are buying votes with money. One of the representative Marudhu Alaguraj asked “If money alone is the only criteria to win the elections, why should we campaign hard?”
Besides, Dhinakaran had gone through every street in his vehicle and had covered the lanes and bylanes in an autorickshaw, freely associating with people and interacting with the cadre who are working actively after initial reluctance.
DMK functionaries suspected that T.T.V. Dhinakaran is fully depending on money power and the EC is unable to check the flow of cash in RK Nagar. One of the representatives stated “We did not work out a clear plan from the beginning. Harbour MLA P.K. Sekarbabu had won from RK Nagar 2 times, but his services have not been utilized in the bypoll. DMK union leader Shanmugam, who is managing the campaign, is focusing more on workers and not on the public.