DMK youth wing leader Udhayanidhi Stalin has been arrested for the first day of his party’s 75-day campaign ahead of the Tamil Nadu Assembly Election, due to be held early next year.
Udhayanidhi, son of DMK president MK Stalin, was arrested in Thirukuvalai on Friday for violating the prohibitory order and for conducting a meeting without police permission.
The DMK has launched the 75-day campaign in an effort to wrest power from arch-rival AIADMK in the state where it has been in opposition for the last over nine years. As part of the campaign, the party plans to hold 1,500 meetings in 75 days across all 234 Assembly segments in the state. The campaign title is “Vidiyalai Nokki Stalinin Kural” (Stalin’s voice towards dawn). On Friday, Udhayanidhi also launched a 100-day campaign part of the party’s larger campaign. The 100-day campaign will be executed by the DMK youth wing.
Udhayanidhi Stalin launched the DMK’s election campaign on Friday from Thirukuvalai, the birth place of late party chief M Karunanidhi. At the behest of the campaign, Udhayanidhi paid homage to Karunanidhi at his Samadhi in Chennai at Marina.
But soon after, Udhayanidhi Stalin and 500 others were taken into custody by the police for violating prohibitory orders. They were arrested and kept in detention in a private wedding hall for allegedly campaigning in violation of the ban.
— Udhay (@Udhaystalin) November 20, 2020
Condemning the arrest of the youth wing leader, DMK MP Kanimozhi tweeted, “CM EPS can go anywhere but the DMK leaders are stopped. The AIADMK is already scared of the DMK even before we start our campaign. I strongly condemn Udhayanidhi’s arrest. He should be allowed to continue his campaign.”
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— Kanimozhi () (@KanimozhiDMK) November 20, 2020
The DMK was routed in the 2011 assembly polls when the late J Jayalalithaa led her party to an emphatic victory and tasted defeat again in 2016, before bouncing back with a strong performance in last year’s Lok Sabha elections.
The party-led alliance, also comprising Congress, won 38 of the 39 Parliament seats in Tamil Nadu, besides the lone Puducherry seat, leaving just one to the AIADMK, in the first major election in the state held after the demise of Jayalalithaa and DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi in 2016 and 2018 respectively.