Bye-elections shouldn't be taken very seriously. But, not so in Tamil Nadu. The results of Thirumangalam constituency will not make a change in the governing set up in Tamil Nadu. A vacancy arose when MDMK candidate from Thirumangalam died of heart attack. By the rules of decency, MDMK should have been asked to put up a candidate for that seat. MDMK is part of the coalition headed by Jeyalalitha's AIADMK. Big Sister Jeyalalitha, instead, decided that AIADMK will contest the seat to ensure that DMK is defeated.
In the meantime, Madurai's de facto Governor, M.K.Azhagiri vowed that he will make DMK win the seat.
The first contest was who will be the candidate for DMK. M.K.Azhagiri and M.K.Stalin, the two sons of DMK Chief Minister Karunanidhi staged a shadow fight and Stalin won. Azhagiri cried wolf and refused to campaign citing eye surgery. He was finally persuaded to campaign, but one could see his unease in TV. Stalin and Azhagiri appeared together but Azhagiri rarely spoke.
But then, Azhagiri rarely speaks. His goondas do the needful. They too believe in action than words.
Not that people in this constituency think this is some kind of referendum on DMK rule. Both AIADMK and DMK are fighting to demonstrate to other political parties, which way the upcoming Parliamentary election results will go.
So, both parties have let loose the purse strings. Both parties have resorted to large scale bribery of the voters. In an earlier bye-election too, there were talks of each voter being given Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000. Now, because of inflation, the going rate seems to be around Rs. 5,000.
Normally, such talks are rarely backed up with hard evidence. Yesterday, however, AIADMK controlled Jaya TV showed a video snippet of M.K.Stalin distributing cash. Note that M.K.Stalin is the newly elected Treasurer of DMK and is the Minister for Municipal Administration and Rural Development in the Tamil Nadu Government.
The Election Commission is filing a case. Stalin claims he gave the money as a birthday present to a child and that he can produce 'evidence' if asked.
It is unbelievable that so much money is being spent by DMK and AIADMK. The only way the voters can teach these rascals a lesson is by electing DMDK candidate from this constituency. DMKDK is the party founded by actor Vijaykanth. Though there is probably nothing greatly redeeming about the DMDK candidate, it is essential that obscene money power be punished by the voters.