It is like straight out of pages of ‘Ripley’s believe it or not’, in the DMK’s latest online membership drive, US president Donald Trump, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, TN CM Edapapdi Palanisamy, cine actors Rajni Kant, Joseph Vijay and others have become members of DMK and they received a personalized welcoming recorded voice message from its chief M K Stalin. This has received flak from the media and public.
The term of the current T N Assembly coming to end next May. Political parties are rolling up their sleeves to face the election in the absence of any charismatic leaders like Jayalalithaa and Karunanidhi. DMK has already enlisted the services of poll strategist Prashanth Kishor to capture power.
The DMK has launched a membership drive campaign entitled: ''Ellorum Nammudan (All are with us). At the end of ten days it says, 4,41,520 new members were enrolled. US President Donald Trump (Egmore Assembly segment) from Chennai District Membership ID DMKOMCH0161464069, Chief Minister Edapadi Palanisamy, superstar Rajni Kant, actor Vijay Joseph, Nayandhara, Karunanidhi’s estranged and expelled son from DMK M K Azhagiri, and others have joined the DMK with their membership cards are going viral in social media and some televisions channels. Its credibility has been under question now.
DMK has been sending messages saying “Congratulations Edapadi K Palaniswamy on becoming a member of DMK! Please find your online DMK Membership card below”. In the card his name, father’s name (Karuppaswamy, age, enrolment date (20/9/2020) and assembly segment (Edapadi) and membership number. In a personalized record voice from party chief M K Stalin says'' I am M K Stalin speaking. At the outset I thank you and congratulate you for joining DMK”. A message says, greeting to Rajinikant, you can, by using VS043399NS recommendation symbol, enroll 25 new members in the party and get the privilege of voting in party organizational polls. To work continuously with the party cadres and to get updates, please join our whatsapp group.
The drive aims to enroll 25 lakh new members during the 45 days campaign. Those who want to join have to give their voter’s ID card details and mobile number. But without these details members were enrolled and membership cards are being generated on line. The overzealous cadres enrolled dead leaders, foreign dignitaries, popular cine stars, and estranged politicians in the opposition camp. To the surprise of many, they receive personalized voice messages from Stalin welcoming them. The name and address helped to join online. This drive would not benefit the DMK but would cause damages and credibility will be at stake.
As a damage control exercise, the party leaders are trying to plug loopholes. They say “ this was adopted by earlier Jayalalithaa but with limited success”. Party insiders said “ in the initial days, only people in thousands have shown interest in joining the party. After the Karuppar Kottam expose, we have been branded as Anti-Hindu, atheist by our opponents. Though these charges have been made for a long time, the aggressive campaign launched of late by Maridhass, BJP and its allies have made an irreparable impact on our party. Before we come out of these charges, Kanimozhi’s anti-Hindi rhetoric and subsequent campaigns have totally spoiled our party’s image. The present online campaign, believed to be worked out by Prashant Kishore, has like other his previous one become a damp squib. Instead of creating support for the party, his ideas work in a negative way. So to boost our image, some cadres started enrolling in lakhs using bogus names. Old members are enrolled to make them as new members.”.
Stalin is being referred to as Sudalai by memes creators. In the ongoing drive, he was enrolled with that name itself. In the father’s name column, Kattumaram ( Karunanidhi), Kolathur Assembly segment. It is Stalin’s assembly constituency. Another membership card with a name uninformed heir, father’s name – King of Cheap politics, age 44, joining date – 16/09/2020 online enrollment number, DMKOMAN0001155485.
North Korean President Kim Jong Un , Chinese President Xi Jing Ping , Russian President Vladimir Putin may soon join DMK if they show the same zeal.
It is not the first time the DMK is indulging in such cheap politics. DMK, which has been following its avowed anti-brahminism and anti-Hindu stand, now wants to gain inroads into their vote bank which is crucial for its victory in Brahmin dominated areas. With this it has been doing all tricks in its bag to woo them to DMK. Sometimes back in Nanganallur, another Brahmin dominated area, it made a wall graffiti with a Brahmin name with his telephone. When contacted he feigned ignorance which the latter found was done without his knowledge. There are many examples.
In May it submitted over 1 lakh petitions to the Chief Secretary K Shanmugam. On verification the government found most of the persons named in the petition denied having signed it. Without their knowledge their names were included. It was part of DMK/s “Ondrivavom Vaa ( Let’s join together” campaign to receive grievances from people. TN Minister Kamaraj had alleged that DMK was enacting a drama to seek political gains through this campaign. He said most of the petitions were found to be bogus and DMK had misused their mobile numbers of many citizens to prefer fake petitions.
DMK never kept its poll promises. If we win three units of rice for one rupee in 1967 to free lands to landless and other freebies are some examples from the vast list.