Chennai: The delta region seething with protests, hit with lack of livelihood, growing unemployment due to lack of Cauvery water and lack of industrial growth is raising optimism for parties such as MDMK, PMK, Naam Thamizhar and even DMDK, as these protests help them to grow their footprint in the state.
The parties were sandwiched between major players AIADMK and DMK for decades in Tamil Nadu and are looking for a breakthrough at a vulnerable place in the state, at a time when the legacy politics being played by the two parties in the name of former Chief Ministers J. Jayalalithaa and M. Karunanidhi seem to be fading away slowly.
The Cauvery delta, abound with agitations for Cauvery and the fierce opposition to ONGC projects, seems to be offering new hopes for the parties.
MDMK leader Vaiko had already taken part in protests at Kathiramangalam. DMDK leader Vijayakanth on Saturday held a protest at Kathiramangalam asking ONGC to quit the area. He also said his party would be with the protesting people till the objective of ousting ONGC is achieved.
MDMK activities are picking up around the delta districts as it has announced this year's annual state conference in Thanjavur. When the party was started in 1994, the sight of hundreds of cars that followed Vaiko during his Kudavasal visit was the talk of the region. But, the party activities had slowed down in the area in the last decade and the MDMK contested a lone seat in Tiruchy in 2016 Assembly elections, bringing down the party's morale to an all-time low.
But, Vaiko's choice of Thanjavur as the annual conference venue this year has met with surprising enthusiasm among partymen. Usually, such an announcement from a party leader facing string of defeats for more than a decade would lead to resentment and anger and even desertions.
Naam Thamizhar party led by Seeman is trying to gain a foothold in the area, while the Left parties which already have a presence are facing trouble in regaining their ground, due to the growing Tamil nationalist currents which favour parties like the MDMK, Naam Thamizhar and more than a dozen local outfits.
PMK led by S. Ramadoss too is eyeing the region as he warned of series of protests in the region against the taking over about 57,345 acres of land in the area for the purpose of oil extraction.
Ramadoss, who has a base in the coastal areas of Nagapattinam, pointed out that several lakhs of agricultural land around the area of oil extraction too would be affected....