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Lok Sabha polls 2024: With the support of youngsters, Seeman’s NTK hopes to make a mark in electoral politics

His Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) that supports the cause of Tamil nationalism, is said to be a hit among the educated youngsters. The fact that 16 of the 39 candidates he has fielded for the polls are medical doctors, is some proof.
Last Updated : 07 April 2024, 07:46 IST

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Chennai: Refusing to be eclipsed by the major political parties in Tamil Nadu, the DMK and AIADMK, besides an aggressive BJP, actor-politician Seeman is busy crisscrossing the state ahead of the April 19 Lok Sabha elections, turning out to be a crowd-puller.

His Naam Tamilar Katchi (NTK) that supports the cause of Tamil nationalism, is said to be a hit among the educated youngsters. The fact that 16 of the 39 candidates he has fielded for the polls are medical doctors, is some proof.

Others are drawn from various professions including engineering and academics. Film director M Kalanjiyam and Vidhya Veerappan, daughter of slain forest brigand Veerappan, are also in the fray.

A lawyer by profession, Vidhya, 33, who was formerly with the BJP, runs a school in Krishnagiri. She is NTK's candidate for Krishnagiri Lok Sabha.

NTK, the Tamil nationalist party launched in 2010, secured 6.89 percent vote share in the 2021 Assembly elections. It has fielded candidates for all 39 seats in the state in the ensuing Parliamentary polls. Incidentally, NTK emerged third in many Assembly segments in the 2021 polls.

"Seeman's political rhetoric and his sharp criticism of the DMK, Congress and even the BJP is sustaining his party in state politics. Of late, many youngsters, particularly the educated from the backward and oppressed communities are getting drawn to his pro-Tamil stand," a political observer said.

Nevertheless, despite the stakes being high for his party in this April 19 election owing to the decision to contest alone, Seeman is able to attract huge crowds at his political rallies across the state. His clear thinking on certain issues is also another reason that lures the people.

For instance, a strong critic of the NEET, Seeman attacked the national party over its latest assurance on the medical entrance test.

“The Congress first introduced NEET and now says it will make centrally-conducted qualifying examinations like the NEET and CUET optional. This only shows that the party that ruled the nation for nearly half-a-century has no forethought," Seeman said on the sidelines of his political campaign here.

Also, he flayed the BJP for raising the Katchatheevu issue with an eye on the Lok Sabha poll. "Both the national parties have no genuine reason to safeguard the interest of Tamil Nadu," he added.

On the DMK’s campaign based on its welfare initiatives, especially Rs 1,000 monthly grant to women, Seeman remarked "how can we consider the DMK as genuine when it asks votes for Rs 1,000 being given to women." "It is attempting to mislead the people with false promises," he claimed.

Incidentally, the NTK is the only party in Tamil Nadu to have allocated 50 percent seats for women candidates for this poll, even as Seeman has not aligned with any party or outfit.

"The decision to contest alone is to prove our strength and emerge as the third major party in Tamil Nadu. Like in the past we will perform better than the national parties that depend on regional parties' strength to contest," a senior leader of NTK said.

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Published 07 April 2024, 07:46 IST

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