DMK cadre unhappy with Rajya Sabha poll choice?

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Former MLA says selection of Rajeshkumar not in line with party’s policy , Cadre believe his candidature would adversely affect the party in Kongu region

Dr Kanimozhi Somu
Dr Kanimozhi Somu

CHENNAI: The names of the DMK candidates announced for upcoming Rajya Sabha by-election has generated mixed reaction among the party’s cadres and second-rung leaders across the State. The party has announced the names of Dr Kanimozhi Somu, daughter of former Union minister NVN Somu, and KRN Rajeshkumar, Namakkal east district unit in-charge, for the by-election.

With the party having adequate strength in the Assembly to bag both the seats, one of the candidates’ names has not been widely welcomed by the cadre. While most of them have appreciated the candidature of Dr Kanimozhi Somu, they have raised concerns over the selection of KRN Rajeshkumar. One of the former MLAs of the party, on condition of anonymity, told TNIE, “It is a usual practice in the DMK to choose the candidates based on their experience in party affairs, local influence, and oratorical skills, to elaborate the party’s stand in the house. Now, the practice has slowly decreased due to various political compulsions and the need to tackle the opponent candidates.”

He added that in the by-election, there was no need to consider the chance of winning as a criteria since the party has the strength to bag the seat. Hence, the party ticket should have been given to eligible candidates who can draw the attention of other party MPs during debates in the upper house. The announced candidate KRN Rajeshkumar does not have any such qualities and is yet to prove his mettle, the former MLA said.

Another state-level functionary in the Kongu region told TNIE, “Within a short span of time in the party, he was directly promoted from the youth wing post to the district in-charge post. The cadres in the district, who have been working tirelessly for the party, have already lost their confidence that they will be recognised. Now, this opportunity to KRN Rajeshkumar would severely affect their morale and everyone will run after youth wing leader Udhayanidhi. This would create a clear split among cadres.”

Speaking about eligible candidates in the party, another former DMK MLA told TNIE that the party has hundreds of doctors, engineers, lawyers and other professionals with strong ideology and oratorical skills, waiting for an opportunity. Most of the party cadres in the Kongu region, whom TNIE spoke to, echoed the same view and said the choice of the candidate wouldn’t help the party to gain strength in the region, but would rather badly affect the its prospects.

After fighting LS polls alongside AIADMK, PMK now set to go it alone
The PMK on Tuesday announced that it would contest the ensuing elections to rural local bodies in nine districts alone. PMK president GK Mani, in a statement here, said office-bearers of the party in these districts felt that considering the growth of the party, it could contest alone in the ensuing elections. Mani said party aspirants who wish to contest can intimate their interest on Sept 15 and 16.

However, the PMK president did not clarify whether the PMK has quit the AIADMK-led alliance. The party faced the 2019 LS elections and 2021 Assembly elections in alliance with the AIADMK.

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