Chennai: Kicking off the ruling AIADMK's campaign for the R K Nagar bypolls from the same location where late J. Jayalalithaa launched her election rallies in 2015 and 2016, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and his deputy O. Panneerselvam on Thursday sought votes for the party to “continue the developmental work” in the backward constituency.
Speaking from an open jeep at Hari Narayana Puram junction in Tondiarpet in north Chennai after inaugurating the party office in the constituency, Palaniswami said RK Nagar showed signs of development only after the late chief minister contested from here in 2015 bypoll and exhorted people to vote for “Two Leaves” for the progress to continue.
Flanked by Panneerselvam and AIADMK candidate E. Madhusudhanan, the Chief Minister said people of RK Nagar should vote for the “magical” Two Leaves symbol, which has been retrieved after eight months, so that the victory can be dedicated to Jayalalithaa.
“Amma always used to begin her campaign from the very same place. And since we follow her footsteps, we have also launched our campaign from here to taste the victory that Amma always had. R K Nagar was a backward constituency and development in the area began only after Amma won from here,” the Chief Minister said.
“To ensure that the development streak continues, people should vote for the AIADMK,” he said and tore into Opposition Leader M K Stalin seeking to know from him the “development projects” he initiated when he was Chennai Mayor from 1996-2002 and Deputy Chief Minister from 2009-2011. “Can he say what he has done for the people here? Has he ever visited the constituency when he was Mayor and Deputy Chief Minister?” he asked. AIADMK, which was split into two groups when R K Nagar went to polls in April, now has the Two Leaves symbol, but faces a resurgent DMK and a formidable opponent in rebel T T V Dhinakaran.
Calling Madhusudhanan as the “son of soil”, Panneerselvam exhorted people to vote for “Two Leaves” to ensure that R K Nagar gets developed like any other urban constituency. “Madhusudhanan is the son of the soil and he has been living in this constituency for the past several decades and he will be among you even after he wins. He should win so that the victory can be dedicated to Amma,” Panneerselvam said.