Chennai: A no-holds-barred campaign
veering around personal attacks in the fortnight-long
electioneering between bitter rivals ruling DMK and AIADMK for
the April 13 assembly polls came to an end on Monday.
Shorn of the shrillness of election campaign due to
the Election Commission`s hawk-eyed vigil, electioneering was
on a quiet mode and without poll trappings like wall writings
Personal attacks overtook policies and programmes of
the political parties in the campaign, in which candidates
mainly concentrated on door-to-door canvassing.
Over 4.6 crore voters, men slightly outnumbering
women, are expected to exercise their franchise to elect 234
members to the Tamil Nadu assembly.
The fate of 2,773 candidates, including DMK leader and
Chief Minister M Karunanidhi (Tiruvarur), his arch rival and
AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa (Srirangam), Karunanidhi`s son and
Deputy Chief Minister MK Stalin (Kolathur) and DMDK founder
Vijayakanth (Rishivandyam) will be decided on Wednesday.
Personal attacks against Karunanidhi and his family
members by Jayalalithaa and Vijayakanth and against the AIADMK
chief by Stalin and complaints by the rival party leaders
against each other to the EC forced it to send notices to
these leaders seeking explanations.
Karunanidhi harped on the theme of development and
berated the EC repeatedly for its actions, accusing it of
creating an `emergency like situation`.
On the other hand, Jayalalithaa asked voters to rid
the state of `family rule` of the DMK patriarch and targeted
Karunanidhi over "rampant corruption" and "collapse" of law
Hike in prices of essential commodities and frequent
power cuts were issues picked up by the Opposition to attack
the DMK government during the campaign.
The 2G spectrum scam, in which DMK leader and former
telecom minister A Raja has been issued charge sheet, took a
backseat in the campaign, though Jayalalithaa had mentioned
about it at Perambalur, native place of Raja.
Refuting Jayalalithaa`s charges, Stalin said
Jayalalithaa had no family and did not know its value. "In a
way, her charge of family rule was right as Kalaignar
(Karunanidhi) treated all Tamils as his family members. Each
and every family in the state got some benefits during his
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, AICC President Sonia
Gandhi, AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, BJP leaders LK
Advani, Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and
Narendra Modi, Left leaders Prakash Karat and A B Bardhan were
some of the national leaders who campaigned for their party`s