Lok Sabha

TN: Unfazed Over Dynasty Politics Hogging Poll Discourse

Lok Sabha

As the state gears up for the first phase of polling for the Lok Sabha on April 19, not just the candidates across the political divide but also their loved ones and kin are reaching out voters in the hope of electoral blessings.

The daughters of Sowmiya Anbumani, the PMK-NDA candidate for the Dharmapuri parliamentary constituency, are out on the ground seeking votes for their mother. Likewise, the spouse of Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) chief TTV Dhinakaran, Anuradha, was pictured travelling around the constituency in an open van in Theni, seeking votes for her husband.

The Chennai Central candidate of the ruling DMK, Dayanidhi Maran, was pictured canvassing for votes with her daughter in the background. While these candidates are representing rival political forces, what binds them in this context, is that their family members are making their first public appearances on the campaign trail.

Even as ‘dynasty politics’ figures prominently in the political discourse going into the Lok Sabha elections, the family members of the candidates are unfazed as they are stepping out of the shadows and going among the people, being the biggest cheerleaders for their loved one without a shred of inhibition. However, the trend of tagging family members along for canvassing has drawn some eyebrows. But it is sure catching on as the polling dates draw near.

Setting the trend, as it were, former AIADMK minister C Vijayabaskar hit the campaign trail along with his daughter Rithanya Priyadarshini to canvas for votes during the 2021 Assembly elections.

The leaders said they were all for it as having loved ones and family members on the campaign trail gives them ‘moral support’ while they go among the people and boosts their confidence going into the elections.

Speaking to ANI over the phone, DMK spokesperson Saravanan said, “Family members stand as moral support for the candidates while also sending a strong message to the electorate that their families are behind them. If the spouses and children of candidates tag along with them on the campaign trail, it enables a better connect with voters, especially women voters. It also tells the people that the candidates are, after all, human beings who also have to support and provide for their loved ones.”

While the kin, who have nothing to do with politics, are canvassing for candidates, the likes of ruling DMK supremo MK Stalin and sitting MP Kanimozhi are also out among the people, seeking votes in the name of their father and late party founder and CM Kalaingar Karunanithi. Similarly, state Sports Minister Udhyanithi Stalin has been campaigning for his CM father. The father, too, campaigned for his son in the assembly polls earlier.

The founder of Pattali Makkal Katchi, Ramadoss, has also been seen campaigning for his son, Anbumani.

Also weighing in on this growing trend, AIADMK spokesperson Kovai Sathyan said, “There is a difference between the AIADMK candidates campaigning with her family members and the DMK and PMK rivals doing it. The DMK and PMK are family-run parties. So when their candidates come out to campaign with their family members, it is like telling the people who is next in line. That’s the message these parties want to send out to the people. There is emotion at play whatsoever.”

While opinions on the trend may vary from person to person, these candidates are pulling out all stops, including bringing their loved ones to forefront, as the poll dates near. (ANI)

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