The son of DMK chief MK Stalin Udhyanidhi was arrested on Friday in the Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu as he launched the party ‘s campaign for next year’ s elections in an event police say violated COVID-19 curbs. “There is no permission for political meetings,” a police officer told NDTV.
Underlining the “improper administration” of the AIADMK government, Udhayanidhi Stalin, the leader of the DMK youth wing, began the party’s 75-day campaign ahead of the Tamil Nadu assembly elections to be held early next year with other up.
Earlier, at an event organized in Tirukkuvalai of Tiruvarur district, the birthplace of former party leader M Karunanidhi, he said he had launched a campaign to take his father’s message to various parts of the state to give end “darkness that has included. Tamil Nadu”.
The campaign entitled “Vidiyalai Nokki Stalin Kural” (Stalin’s voice for dawn) will cover all 234 segments of the assembly ahead of the state assembly elections expected in April-May.
The party’s women wing leader and MP Lok Sabha Kanimozhi, former ministers K Ponmudi and I Periyasamy among others will visit different parts of the state as part of the campaign, a DMK press release said.
“The leaders will explain the slogan of the party president to move towards a new dawn by rejecting the atrocities and administrative holidays of AIADMK,” she said.
DMK General Secretary KN Nehru said 15 senior party leaders would chair 1,500 meetings in 75 days across the state in all 234 constituencies while Mr Stalin is expected to join the campaign trail in January.
Mr Nehru, a former minister, said because of orders banning large crowds for political rallies among others given the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Stalin was expected to hold election rallies from January.
“But he (Stalin) is in touch with people through video conferencing. There will be a crowd if he goes to public meetings … after January he will start the campaign,” Mr Nehru told the PTI news agency.
Many also see the DMK move that positions Mr. Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi in a leading role for the campaign as a calculated step to give him credit later if the party wins the election, so he can rise as the Number 2 at the party.
A revived DMK is eager to oust its main rival AIADMK in the state where it has been in opposition for over the past nine years.
The party was defeated in the 2011 assembly polls when J Jayalalithaa led her party to a resounding victory. He lost again in 2016, before retiring with a strong performance in last year’s election at Lok Sabha.
A DMK-led alliance, also including Congress, won 38 of the 39 parliamentary seats in Tamil Nadu, in addition to the only Puducherry seat, leaving only one AIADMK, in the first major state elections held after the death of Mrs. Jayalalithaa and DMK Patriarch M Karunanidhi in 2016 and 2018 respectively.