A quick glance of the ongoing Ungal Thoguthiyil Stalin campaign organized by poll strategist I-PAC (Indian Political Action Committee) for DMK president M K Stalin would suggest that it is a fusion of western and Dravidian campaign. While rival AIADMK leaders, especially Chief Minister K Palaniswami are busy addressing people from the custom made caravan at several points in a district every day, Stalin has been interacting with people in each constituency from a fixed venue.
He had tried a modest version of it ahead of the 2016 Assembly polls too. Stalin has been busy spending hours in a rally in each constituency, interacting with registered participants and collecting petitions from the people in Ungal Thoguthiyil Stalin or UTS, as it is popularly called.
It has been learnt that Stalin and company are impressed by the new campaigning style already. If sources in DMK are to be believed, the public response to UTS has overwhelmed the DMK organisers. The DMK leadership has a reason to be enthused, for the UTS or rather the petitions collected by Stalin dominated the rhetoric of the CM. Also, on an average, not less than 22,000 people were learnt to have petitioned in each UTS rally so far.
An organiser said, “We carry 30,000 registrations form per rally. Last week, we ran out of forms midway through in two events. We were pleasantly surprised. “In some places, people turned up as early as 6am to register for the meetings. Some post-noon meetings lasted after dusk. We could not wind up as participants demanded that the forms be registered. We are able to sense the confidence in the people.”
There were a few complaints too, as some local functionaries were cribbing over events being arranged in constituencies that were likely to go to allies.
“Kovilpatti is one such. It is likely to go to one of the allies. Why should our party spend so much on such constituencies? Instead, we could choose one of our strongholds,” said a officer bearer on condition of anonymity.