Vaiko's men working for DMK, says Alagiri

With just two days of electioneering left for the April 13 Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, there is palpable tension in the air as Alagiri,  clad in a white-dhoti and shirt,  darts across to his office in Madurai.

Alagiri, in charge for all the 58 Assembly constituencies in the south, quickly gets into a huddle on the stream of information pouring from each segment.

Alagiri’s campaign style is different this time from the 2009 Lok Sabha poll, when he canvassed as a DMK contestant from Madurai. In the current polls, he is the “eternal nerve centre,” processing inputs from every rural and urban ward, and giving instant directions.  Alagiri has also been locked in a fierce spat with Madurai District Collector U Sagayam, whom he alleged was being partisan, as the official set off a peaceful campaign among the youth against “selling” their votes. Alagiri spoke to Deccan Herald in his candid style.

Excerpts:

How is the campaign going on and what are your expectations?

It’s going very well. We  (DMK-led front) expect to win more than 200 of the 234 Assembly seats in the state.

The South has 58 seats and what’s your assessment about them?

Of course, I would like to win all the 58 seats. But my expectation, after going around all these constituencies, is that we will win over 40 seats in the Southern districts alone.

What effect the Vaiko-led MDMK snapping ties with AIADMK after their seat-sharing talks failed, will have on this poll?

The MDMK quitting that front has come as an advantage to our alliance. For, Vaiko’s
partymen are all now working for our (DMK) alliance candidates.

You strained hard for retaining the Congress in the DMK-led front. Are they reciprocating at the field level?

All our Congress friends are well coordinating with us.

What’s the situation at Andipatti, Jayalalitha’s former constituency which the DMK has always wanted to wrest?

All I can say we will definitely win Andipatti seat this time. Even at Srirangam, where the AIADMK leader is contesting now, I hear the going is tough for Jayalalitha.

What about the impact of  Vijayakant factor?

Well, “Idhai Ezhuthi Vaithu Kollungal (you can definitely put this down on paper)’: Vijayakant is losing at the Rishivandiyam constituency (from where the DMDK’s leader is the poll fray this time).

Some say you are not happy with Delhi politics and want to return to Tamil Nadu?

I don’t want to say anything about such issues now.

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