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TAMIL NADU

Foot-in-mouthpiece: Vaiko poll backfires on DMK

Thursday 6 April 2006, by MENON*Jaya

CHENNAI, APRIL 5: An online survey conducted against MDMK leader Vaiko by the Tamil daily Dinakaran, a part of the Sun Group owned by the family of Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran, has proved embarrassing for the daily and the DMK in the runup to the elections.

The survey asks visitors to the site, www.dinakaran.com, to click on ?yes,’ ?no,’ or ?no comment,’ to whether it was right on the part of Vaiko, who quit the DMK-led front and joined the AIADMK-led alliance, ??to continuously target individuals in his election campaign to gain political mileage’’.

??Is this propaganda right,’’ asks the site inviting readers to express their views.

Unfortunately for the newspaper, 56.19 per cent - 558 out of a total of 993 who have registered their views so far - have said yes to Vaiko’s ?propaganda’ being right, while 41.59 (413 persons) said ?no’. Twenty two persons, that is 2.22 per cent, have refused to comment.

The survey is bound to make DMK chief M Karunanidhi and Maran squirm, as the ?individuals’ mentioned in the survey obviously refers to them. Especially, the latter, who has come under severe attack from the MDMK leader who has accused his family-run Sun TV of blacking him out even after he made up with ?annan’ (elder brother) Karunanidhi nearly two years ago and even after he aligned with the DMK for the 2004 Lok Sabha election. The ?Dinakaran’ has also unwittingly helped Vaiko get public endorsement for his campaign.

On Sunday night, Vaiko challenged Maran to go ahead and file a criminal defamation suit against him for accusing the latter of ??misusing’’ his position as a Union Communications Minister to benefit his family businesses. He threatened to fight the case himself and ??tear open the iron curtain’’ and reveal a thousand secrets.

Vaiko has also accused the DMK president of practicing ?dynastic politics’, describing the coming election as a contest between welfare of the people of the state and the dominance of one family.

While Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa has chalked out a strategy of highlighting only her achievements in her election campaign and focusing on the ?feel good’ factor, her ally Vaiko has taken on the negative brief of lashing out at Karunanidhi and his family and the Union Ministers from Tamil Nadu belonging to the DMK and its allies.

The DMK and its allies, the Congress and the PMK, are yet to launch their election campaign. Amma and her new-found ally, Vaiko, launched their whirlwind electioneering much ahead of their rivals and have also scheduled a joint rally along with DPI leader Thol Thirumavalavan in Madurai on April 8.

See online : The Indian Express

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