Concerted efforts by the pro-LTTE outfits like Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam and student groups targeting senior Congress leaders blaming them and their party for not coming to the rescue of Sri Lankan Tamils appears to have played a role in their Lok Sabha poll defeat.
While unknown faces like Manik Tagore (Virudunagar), S Ramasubbu (Tirunelveli) and S Viswanthan (Kancheepuram) could make it to the Lok Sabha, senior leaders like Mani Shankar Aiyar, E V K S Elangovan and K V Thankgabalu had to face the wrath of public as the pro-LTTE elements had targeted them.
Screening of a CD on the plight of Sri Lankan Tamils in rural areas continued as Congress efforts to bring about a ban on them through courts failed. Initially, police had prevented the screening, but the Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam obtained permission from the court to do so.
"We screened the CD in over 1,000 places in Sivaganga, Erode, Salem and Mayiladuthurai and got desired results," PDK General Secretry K Rajendaran said.
Adding to their woes, the public meetings addressed by film industry personnel, headed by wellknown director Bharathiraja, who spearheaded the industry's protests over the Lankan Tamils issue, in the constituencies contested by these leaders also seem to have turned the tables against them.
Even Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, who had been winning in his native Sivaganga comfortably in the previous polls, just managed to scrape through this time with a slender margin of 3,354 votes.