Campaign Picks Momentum, PM to be in Tamil Nadu for 4 Days

Chennai: With just a fortnight left for the April 19 Lok Sabha elections in the State, campaign picks up momentum with candidates going around their constituencies despite the blazing summer heat – Chennai recorded a maximum temperature of 36 degrees Celsius on Wednesday – even as the State units of national parties like the BJP and Congress geared up to host major events with their top leaders in various places.

The revised schedule of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s events reveal a plan for an aggressive continued four day campaign packed with back to back public meetings, introduction of candidates to voters and road shows on April 9, 10, 13 and 14 in diverse places like Vellore, Chennai, Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Perambalur and Virudhunagar, covering the entire State.

Ahead of Modi’s visit, Union Home Minister Amit Shah will be in the State from Thursday for two days before going to Kerala for campaigning. Shah will land in Madurai and go to Theni to campaign for the BJP’s alliance candidate T T V Dinakaran of AMMK. He would return to Madurai worship at the Meenakshi Amman temple to start his campaign the next day, visiting Sivaganga, Tenkasi and Kanyakumari constituencies.

Since the BJP is desperate to prove its popularity in the State by ensuring that candidates of its coalition fared well in the polls, Modi will concentrate more on the State that is going to polls on the first phase of the elections.

So he will be arriving at 4 pm on April 9 to hold a road show at Vellore, where he will also address a public meeting to introduce candidates of Vellore (A C Shanmugham), Dharmapuri (Sowmiya Ramadoss), Krishnagiri, Kallakurichi, Tiruvannamalai, Arani, Chidambaram and Cuddalore (Thangar Bacchan).

Later on, he will be at T Nagar for the roadshow and meeting, where he would introduce candidates of Chennai and its surroundings like Tamilisai Soundararajan (South Chennai), Vinoj P Selvam (Central Chennai), R C Paul Kanagaraj (North Chennai), Pon Balaganapathy (Tiruvallur), Venugopal (Sriperumbudur), Jothi Venkatraman (Kanchipuram) and K Balu (Arakonnam).

The next day, on April 10, Modi will be at the Nilgiris, canvassing for L Murugan and taking part in a roadshow at 11 am before reaching Coimbatore at 1 pm for addressing a public meeting and introducing the candidates of Coimbatore ( K Annamalai), Pollachi, Tiruppur, Erode, Salem and Namakkal.

Again he will be at Perambalur for a public meeting on April 13. Candidates of Trichy, Thanjavur, Nagapattinam, Mayiladuthurai and Villupuram will be introduced then. The next day, on April 14, he will be introducing Radhika Sarathkumar, the BJP candidate from Virudhunagar, and those fielded by the coalition from Madurai, Theni, Dindigul, Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga, Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari, Thoothukudi and Tenkasi.

The public meetings assume importance in the backdrop of the BJP adopting a strategy to vociferously attack the ruling DMK and its ally the Congress by raking in issues like the ceding of the Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka in 1974. By blaming the DMK and the Congress for handing over the islet in the Palk Straits, the BJP hopes to win over the hearts of the people of the State and might hence turn aggressive on it.

Launching a strident counter to the BJP’s claims, the TNCC president K Selvaperunthogai on Wednesday accused Modi and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman of putting the livelihood of 35 lakh Tamil people in Sri Lanka in jeopardy by making irresponsible statements on the Katchatheevu issue.

Selvaperunthogai referred to the editorial in a Sri Lankan newspaper suggesting that such irresponsible statements of people in power and authority could push the nation into the hands of other countries like China.

As part of the BJP's intense campaign in the State, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanth is also expected to campaign in the State. As per the tentative programme, Adityantha will visit Tiruvannamalai and canvass votes for the BJP candidate, Yaswathraman.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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