With campaign in full swing, AIADMK supremo and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa is busy criss crossing cities in planes and choppers, her party affiliated filmstars are rushing through constituencies in vans and sitting ministers going door-to-door canvassing support.
Leading from the front, Jayalalithaa uses airplanes and chartered choppers to reach venues of her election rallies. She landed in a chartered chopper at the meeting venue in Dharmapuri. However, her dependence on air logistics has drawn flak this time too as in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. She had then responded saying that it was only to cover all constituencies within a short duration, besides security concerns.
She began her campaign on April 9 in Chennai by addressing a mega rally at Island Grounds and later several such meetings in a host of cities in Tamil Nadu. Kanchipuram, Cuddalore, Tiruchirappalli, Dharmapuri and Salem are among the other places she has visited and later today she is expected to address a rally in the temple city of Madurai.
She uses both airplanes and choppers, depending on the location of the venue, besides using her SUVs.
AIADMK has also fielded a host of popular film stars to canvass support for it and they visit constituencies in open-top campaign vans.
Leading the star pack is ‘Sangamam’ fame actress Vindhya and noted comedian Singamuthu. Comedians Gundu Kalyanam, Vaiyapuri, actor Thiyagu and comedy star Aarthi are also using their popularity to convince voters to again vote AIADMK to power.
In his inimitable style, Singamuthu lists several welfare measures like free mixies, grinders, Amma brand of schemes including Amma chain of low-cost eateries and pleads with them to vote for a repeat “golden rule of Amma.” Vindhya, targeting DMDK chief Vijayakanth, utters a dialogue from a foreign language film and asks people if they understood anything. When they say ‘No’, she replies, “How on earth will you be able to understand him, who speaks just like the characters in the foreign language movie?”
Sitting Ministers, right from former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, B Valarmathi, Mukkur Subramanian, S Gokula Indira, to R Vaithilingam make it a point to go door to door to seek votes. They also try to strike a chord with the people by highlighting the “achievements” in their neighbourhood and make poll promises.
Social Welfare Minister Valarmathi, who is seeking re-election in Thousand Lights, even bathed a small boy and conversed animatedly with householders as she sought votes for her party. It is being seen as the ruling party’s efforts to blunt the opposition campaign that AIADMK does not make personal visits to people.