Jaya kick-starts poll preparations

Jaya kick-starts poll preparations

Jaya kick-starts poll preparations

AIADMK supremo J Jayalalitha on Sunday began the process of appointing booth canvassers, in the first significant move towards gearing up her party for the 2016 Assembly polls.

With the divided opposition still looking to stitch together an alliance, Jayalalitha sounded the bugle to repeat the 2011 performance and get absolute majority for her party.

"It is essential to tell the 5,62,06,547 voters in 64,094 polling stations on behalf of AIADMK that Tamil Nadu is marching on a growth path,” Jayalalitha said.  “For this purpose, vote canvassers will be appointed for each election booth,” she added.

While the Chief Minister is looking to cash in on the welfare measures her government has implemented in the last four years, her arch rival the DMK has also moved ahead with poll preparation by appointing new district secretaries who would get in touch with the booth agents and galvanise support for the party.

Party leader M K Stalin recently said the DMK is looking to form alliances with like minded outfits to take on the AIADMK. “An opportunity to form the alliance is in the offing. It will come out when the elections are nearer,” he said.

Beset by the corruption issue and the public fallout with Karunanidhi’s elder son M K Alagiri, the DMK is looking to consolidate opposition strength by joining forces with Congress, Vijayakanth-led DMDK and Vaiko-led MDMK.

Vijayakanth, also keen on heading an alliance, said the discussions on political partnerships would emerge before the elections scheduled for May 2016. The PMK, on the other hand, has made it clear that it will not partner with DMK or AIADMK and has even declared party founder Ramadoss’ son, its youth wing leader and former union minister Anbumani as its chief ministerial candidate. The AIADMK swept the 2011 polls capturing 200 seats and retained its grip over the state by netting 37 out of 39 Lok Sabha seats.  The party is bragging about the accomplishments of its four-year rule through a series of meetings across the state, where it has also highlighted Jayalalitha’s massive win in the recent R K Nagar bypolls that enabled her to get back on the saddle.