Searching for unconventional characters for its out-of-the-beaten-track election strategy, the Aam Aadmi Party chose three activists who rose to fame during the anti-nuclear protests in 2012 for the three protest-hit constituencies — Kanyakumari, Tuticorin and Tirunelveli.
Led by SP Udayakumar, the media savvy leader of the anti- Kudankulam agitation, will contest from Kanyakumari, while the other two are M Pushparayan to fight from Tutikorin and M Jesuraj from Tirunveli.
Udayakumar, as the coordinator for the Peoples Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), spearheaded the agitation that stalled the commissioning of the nuclear plant for over a year.
So, when AAP was spreading its wings in Tamil Nadu, it spotted 54-year-old Udayakumar as he was popular in the southern coastal districts surrounding the nuclear plant in Tirunelveli district, some 650km from Chennai.
But does the AAP manifesto being silent on nuke power affect the prospects of the trio? “It does not matter. People here know that the party stands with the masses in their fight against the nuclear plant,” Udayakaumar told HT.
Udayakuamar has the support of the fishing community in the three districts and also the Christians. It was widely believed that the Church was backing the anti-nuclear agitation.
Clearly, the three constituencies could witness the fallout of the anti-nuclear stir and it may go against the AIADMK, which is contesting without an alliance for the first time. “There is no Modi wave. And there is no Congress. The main fight is between the AIADMK and us,” said Udayakumar.