Over 1.26 lakh voters of the urban constituency that goes to polls on December 21 fall under the age of 39 and Madusudhanan was not active in politics when they attained the voting age. Among these voters, over 62,000 come under the age of 29 and these votes are crucial for any party to win the election.
Last time, when the bypoll to the same seat was announced for April 12, most of the youth were seen rallying behind DMK working president MK Stalin and former MP TTV Dinakaran during the campaign.
Although, Madhusudhanan has a support base among the Telugu speaking people who account for more than 20 per cent in the area, it will be hard to swing youth votes by appealing on caste lines.
The ‘Hat’ symbol when it was introduced by Dinakaran, caught the imagination of the youth in a very short time, indicating that they were beyond the ‘Two Leaves’ magic too. Dinakaran who had sensed the mood in his last campaign, had asked for a cricket bat or whistle as the election symbol, in case he did not obtain the ‘Hat’ this time. Both cricket bat and whistle could easily draw the attention of youth voters and Dinakaran’s choice of symbol is an indicator of his game plan to net the youth voters.
Only about 7,000 voters are above the age of 70 and their support which could be divided between the DMK and AIADMK could not help the AIADMK presidium chairman much. Around 46,000 of the voters are between the age of 50 to 69 and they could have been in their twenties and thirties when Madhusudhanan was a minister in former Chief Minister J Jayalalihtaa’s first cabinet. The ruling party’s first consultative meeting was held on Wednesday with the participation of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.
Both the leaders highlighted the significance of the bypoll and stressed on winning the battle at any cost.
But, securing youth support is certain to be a big task for both the leaders, especially when both Stalin and Dinakaran are expected to roll out campaign tactics to capture youth support.