Vellore LS polls: yet another acid test for DMK

Both the DMK and AIADMK have repeated their candidates – Kadhir Anand and A C Shanmugam – and the constituency will face a direct contest between the Rising Sun and Two Leaves symbol. (AFP File Photo. For representation purpose)

Battle lines have been drawn yet again between the ruling AIADMK and the DMK as the high-stakes Vellore Lok Sabha constituency goes to polls on August 5.

Both the DMK and AIADMK have repeated their candidates – Kadhir Anand and A C Shanmugam – and the constituency will face a direct contest between the Rising Sun and Two Leaves symbol.

The election will also serve as yet another acid test for the DMK which is under pressure to win the seat for a variety of reasons. The candidate is the son of its treasurer Durai Murugan. Its victory will also send a message that Tamil Nadu would still reject the BJP.

Political observers are curious about the impact of the anti-Modi wave that swept the state during Lok Sabha polls, and the possibility of AIADMK managing to win based on local factors.

“The DMK-led alliance won 37 out of 38 seats that went to polls in April riding high on the anti-Modi wave. But with the BJP returning to power at Centre, it is to be seen whether the people will still choose DMK in Vellore,” a political observer, who wished to remain anonymous, said.

Unwilling to take chances, the DMK President M K Stalin has deputed around 20 senior party leaders, including former ministers, to oversee election work in Vellore. The party has asked office-bearers of more than a dozen districts to be in Vellore to ensure that Kadhir Anand wins.

On the other hand, the election is crucial for the ruling AIADMK that tasted humiliating defeat and erosion in its vote bank in the Lok Sabha polls.

The polls in Vellore were rescinded on April 16, two days before the state went to elections on April 18, due to allegations of rampant use of money power and recovery of huge amounts of cash from a godown linked to a person close to the DMK candidate.

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