Campaign for the Pennagaram byelection, scheduled to be held on 27 March, is set to hot up, with leaders of political parties, including Chief Minister and DMK president M Karunanidhi, AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa, Deputy Chief Minister MK Stalin and DMDK leader Vijayakanth planning to hit the campaign trail next week.
While Karunanidhi is likely to address a public meeting at Pennagaram on 24 March, Jayalalithaa will tour the constituency on 22 and 23 March. PMK leaders, including its founder S Ramadoss, were the early birds as they went into campaigning mode several weeks ago.
Jayalalithaa is scheduled to speak at 18 places across the constituency canvassing votes for Anbazhagan, her party candidate. Stalin will also kickstart a three-day campaign in the constituency from 23 March in support of DMK candidate P N P Inbasekaran.
A host of Ministers including EV Velu, Veerapandi S Arumugam, K Ponmudy, K N Nehru, Suba Thangavelan and Thangam Thennarasu are already camping at Pennagaram and involved in a door-to-door campaign.
Actor-politician Vijayakanth, who is busy with his directorial debut Viruthagiri, will take time off from his shooting schedule and campaign for party candidate Kaveri Varman for five days from 21 March.
The DMK is leaving no stone unturned for ensuring victory in the byelection. For, the stakes are high for the ruling party, as it wants to maintain its winning momentum. The DMK-Congress alliance has won all the 10 seats that witnessed by-elections so far.
Winning Pennagaram, once its pocket borough, is a prestigious issue for the PMK as the party suffered total rout in the Lok Sabha elections last year. The DMDK, which lost its deposit during the past two bypolls, is under pressure to improve its performance in Pennagaram.
The AIADMK’s campaign seems to be lacklustre so far, but is expected to get a fillip with the visit of Jayalalithaa.
Leaders of the CPI and CPI(M) will step up their campaign in support of the AIADMK candidate in the coming days.