No holds barred, high voltage campaign ends for bypoll to 4 Assembly seats

No holds barred, high voltage campaign ends for bypoll to 4 Assembly seats

Chennai, The no holds barred, high voltage campaign for the May 19 bypolls to four Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu ended on Friday evening. A total of 137 candidates, including six women, were in the fray for the bypolls to be held for Sulur (22 candidates), Aravakurichi, (63), Tiruparankundram (37) and Ottapidaram (15) seats. The main contest would be between the ruling AIADMK and the principal Opposition DMK, despite the presence of AMMK led by TTV Dhinakaran and Makkal Needhi Maiyam of actor-turned politician Kamal Haasan. The AIADMK has the support of its allies that included BJP, DMDK, BJP, PMK, Puthiya Tamizhagam, Tamil Maanila Congress and NJP, while the DMK has the support of Congress, IUML, CPI, CPI(M), MDMK, VCK, IJK and KMDK. During the campaign that witnessed trading of charges against each other by the two dravidian majors, Kamal stirred a hornet's nest towards the fag end by his Hindu terror remark that created a furore among the Hindu outfits, especially the BJP and AIADMK. While campaigning at Aravakurichi, Kamal said the first terrorist in Independent India was a Hindu and his name was Nathuram Godse,

who killed Mahatma Gandhi. Cases were filed against Kamal, protests held to condemn his remark, forcing him to file an anticipatory-bail plea, orders on which were reserved by the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court. Kamal's controversial remarks while campaigning in an area predominantly inhabited by Muslims drew condemnation from BJP across the country, but the DMK remained a stoic silence and did not react to it, after it was put in a quandry over Dravidar Kazhagam President K Veeramani's anti-Hindu retort in the run up to the April 18 Lok Sabha polls. DMK President M K Stalin, who extensively campaigned and mingled with the villagers and locals while canvassing, did some damage control exercise and forced to take the extra step to overcome Mr Veeramani's statement and said the DMK was not anti-Hindu and was also not against any religion. He also said that majority of the workers in the DMK were from Hindu community.

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