Union Home Minister Amit Shah kick-started electioneering in Kanyakumari on 7th march where Lok Sabha by-poll will be held along with state assemblies on 6th April. His visit is expected to boost the morale of the cadre. It was his second visit to the state in a week. The Lok Sabha by-poll is necessitated following the death of Congress MP H Vasanth Kumar last year. He had succumbed to Covid- 19. Last week congress MP Rahul Gandhi came to Kanyakumari only to canvass votes for his party candidate even before the seat-sharing deal between DMK and Congress was clinched. Now it is official that Congress will contest in 23 assembly constituencies plus the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha seat which was held by its member. BJP has fielded former Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan. He was defeated by Vasanth Kumar in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Amit Shah visited to Kanyakumari to launch BJP’s poll campaign. He held roadshows canvassing votes for BJP candidate Pon. Radhakrishnan. Amit Shah earlier offered prayers at the famous Thanumalayan temple in Suchintharam, distributed pamphlets to residents of the town and other surrounding areas. After launching the door-to-door campaign “Vetri Kodi Eandi Tamizhagam Velvom ( carrying the flag of victory, we will win Tamil Nadu), or Vijay Sankalp Mahasampark in Hindi, Amit Shah said “Today, we have started our campaign by visiting 11 homes here to take the BJP’s Lotus Symbol door-to-door. I appeal to the voters to elect Radhakrishnan and send him to Delhi to strengthen the voice of Tamil Nadu. I am convinced about the poll outcome looking at the excitement of the people. Our government will topmost priority to the development of the state. I am confident that the AIADMK-BJP-PMK coalition will form the next government in Tamil Nadu. Amit Shah tweeted “launched @BJP4TamilNadu’s door-to-door campaign from Suchindram, Kanyakumari. Under@narendramodi ji’s leadership, the development of Tamil Nadu is our topmost priority. I appeal to people of the state to elect the BJP-AIADMK alliance with an absolute majority”. BJP camp thinks that a will in Lok Sabha by-poll and assembly seats will help the party to make inroads into Tamil Nadu, a pre-curser to capture power in the next election. Nadars, most of them converted to Christianity, are in considerable number in Kanyakumari district besides converted fisherfolks. Here caste and religion factors weigh more. This was the reason for Vasanth Kumar’s win despite good work done by former Union Minister Radhakrishnan. During his tenure, the businessman cum politician did not do anything for the constituency which will turn the wave in favour of BJP. Besides, the AIADMK is strong in some areas in the district and the other alliance partners like PMK, expected to ensure the BJP victory. On 5th March Amit Shah visited Chennai and met Chief Minister Edapadi K Palaniswamy and Deputy CM Panneerselvam. Later in the day, Amit Shah flew to Kerala to attend the valedictory function of BJP’s Kerala Vijay Sankalp yatra in Thiruvananthapuram. Meanwhile, DMK has released its 10-year vision document (poll manifest), assuring Rs.1,000 monthly allowance to housewives with ration cards. It promised to revive the economy (double-digit growth), improve agriculture and farming productivity, importance on health and education, urban and rural development and ending manual scavenging, doubling of scholarship to SC/STs and like. For the agricultural sector, the document says, DMK “aims to put the state among the top three in production of food grains, coconut, sugar, cotton and sunflower. Will enhance the spending on education and health care three-fold, water connection to rural households, robust road and drainage systems and broadband connectivity are among other areas mentioned. In Tamil Nadu, over 2.6 crore ration card holders are there. DMK without specifying the promise, if implemented it would cost the exchequer over Rs.20,000 crore per annum. During Corona, the AIADMK government gave 1,000 each for two months to all cardholder and Rs.2,500 to celebrate Pongal along with gift hampers.
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