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Clash over cash, Vellore AIADMK in damage control mode
In any election, of late, cash is the key player, especially in the case of foot soldiers of every party. Some exceptions to this demand were tall leaders like AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa and Dravidian patriarch M Karunanidhi, who commanded strong influence among their respective party workers and the people.
A case in point for the above fact was witnessed during Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s campaign in Vellore district earlier this week.
A section of AIADMK cadre, who were brought in from different areas, became agitated after they were allegedly denied their ‘payment’.
According to sources, local AIADMK leaders reportedly transported cadre from different wards of Pernambut town for a grand show of strength during Palaniswami’s visit to the region on Monday. The CM was canvassing votes for the AIADMK front’s Vellore LS candidate AC Shanmugham and AIADMK nominee for Gudiyattam (reserved) Assembly segment Kaspa Murthy.
A section of cadre, who reportedly refused to be present in the venue, were convinced by the local leaders, who promised to pay Rs 200 per head. As a confirmation, the ‘protesting’ workers were reportedly given tokens bearing the signature and phone number of AIADMK town secretary Srinivasan.
Ironically, some of the cadre claimed that they did not receive the promised money even two days after the event. In another incident that took place subsequently, a woman supporter, identified as Shamsheena, and her relatives was attacked by two party functionaries when they asked for the payment.
AIAMDK functionaries went into damage control mode when Minister K C Veeramani, who hails from the district, pulled up Srinivasan over the issue. When contacted, local leaders denied any clash between AIADMK cadre and claimed that one group belonged to the ruling party, while the other was from the AMMK.
The incident has created a buzz in the town, with a few strongly rejecting the allegations of money being given to showcase the strength of the party in the district.