Chennai: Shouldering the gigantic task of steering the party to victory in the April 24 Lok Sabha elections, DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi will on Wednesday embark upon a campaign trail of Tamil Nadu.
The "Kalaignar", who is known for his oratory skills, is launching electioneering from the city which has three Lok Sabha segments-- Chennai Central, Chennai North and Chennai South.
His grandnephew, Dayanidhi Maran, facing charges of corruption in Aircel Maxis deal, is seeking re-election from Central Chennai.
Notwithstanding age and health related issues, the 90-year-old leader, who is revered by partymen for his political acumen and well planned strategies, has advanced his campaign originally scheduled for April five from Coimbatore to tomorrow to galvanise DMK for the crucial polls.
The party is fighting the polls after spurning alliance by national parties like Congress or BJP.
Karunanidhi is aware of the odds staked against his party, which is taking on the might of the ruling AIADMK and the challenge posed by the the six-party strong BJP-led alliance.
The daunting task faced by DMK is to quell the sustained campaign unleashed against it by arch-rival Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on various issues ranging from fishermen issue to development of Tamil Nadu, as the Karunanidhi outfit was part of Congress-led UPA government.
Jayalalithaa, who is riding on a wave of success after
returning to power with a thumping majority in Assembly elections and ensuring the winning streak in all bye-elections held so far, has brought DMK under vituperative attack.
Besides braving pugnacious onslaught by political rivals, Karunanidhi is also battling fissures within his party in the backdrop of rebellion by his son M K Alagiri, whom he suspended from the party in January on charge of indiscipline.
Enraged by the disciplinary action, denial of ticket to him and his supporters, Alagiri who has been pouring out his anger, has even threatened to play a spoil sport in the polls.
Adding fuel to the fire, contestants from Congress, BJP, MDMK and others have been calling on the Southern Tamil Nadu strong man Alagiri for support to win the election.
Karunanidhi, who dumped Congress, feels that the Sonia Gandhi-led party betrayed him on various issues and blamed the party for the troubles faced on 2G scam issue which dragged into its net his daughter Kanzhimozhi, his wife Dayalu and A Raja.
Karunanidhi has the onerous task of leading DMK to surpass its tally of 18 seats in 2009 in the upcoming election, for which his son and heir apparent M K Stalin has also been toiling.
DMK needs to go extra mile to garner higher vote share in the elections as against 25 per cent it won in 2009.