The ruling AIADMK is gearing up for the upcoming by-elections to two Assembly seats of Nanguneri and Vikravandi and the civic polls likely to be held by the end of this year.
The party, led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and O Pannerselvam, has started working on strategies and brand-building exercises. The ruling AIADMK, which gave a rousing reception to the chief minister for his foreign business trip, is now gearing up for the 111th birth anniversary of Dravidian leader Anna falling on Sunday. To celebrate the event, the party has arranged public meetings and distribution of freebies with sweets in more than 70 Assembly constituencies, a move aimed at keeping the party workers engaged and be prepared for the voters outreach programmes. The party is also continuing with its task of weakening rebel AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, AIADMK sources said, adding talks were underway to woo the sulking AMMK functionaries.
The AIADMK leaders, OPS and EPS, in a joint statement on Wednesday, had urged the party workers to organise public meetings, host cultural events and distribute sweets from September 15 to 18. The three-day festival of observing the Dravidian leader Anna’s birthday should be attended by all the functionaries serving in party wings. The party also roped in 15 cultural troupes associated with the party to jointly hold the events in 15 districts. The statement also urged the state-level officer-bearers of the AIADMK in Kerala, Andhra, Delhi, Maharashtra and Karnataka to observe the birth anniversary of former Tamil Nadu chief minister C N Anna Durai.
“After the demise of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, the DMK said that this government would fall anytime leading to the decimation of the AIADMK, but the second-rung leaders have managed to run the government and the party over the past three years. The results of Vellore Lok Sabha and by-polls have given hopes to the AIADMK cadre,” said Poonga Nagar Selvam, an office-bearer with MGR Mandram - North Chennai.
According to AIADMK sources, the functionaries in the party are now in an upbeat mood. The aspiring councillors who were hesitant to contest civic polls till last year are now ready to contest if the polls were held. A few councillors and former MLAs have started spending more on the politicised wedding of their children to get political prominence in the ruling party. AIADMK north Chennai functionary Bhavani Shankar went the extra mile of conducting his son’s wedding at the Jayalalithaa memorial. And there was another marriage function of former minister Agri Krishnamoorthy in which the party’s symbol two leaves was the theme background of the wedding hall.