Eyebrows were raised in political circles when Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and DMK leader M.K. Stalin hit the campaign trail months ahead of the Election Commission of India’s announcement of the Assembly poll dates, showing what some felt to be “undue urgency” then.
When questioned during his campaign visit to Tiruchi on New Year’s eve, Mr. Palaniswami told reporters there was not much time left [for the election] and there was a lot of ground to be covered. In retrospect, the decision of both the leaders seems to have been proved right following the EC’s rather sudden announcement of the Assembly election, giving just about a month’s time for campaigning.
Curiously, the major parties failed to show the same sense of urgency with respect to finalising seat-sharing arrangements within their respective alliances and have been forced to hasten the process now, reducing the campaign time further.
Commenting on the tough election ahead, a senior Left leader observed: “It is not going to be easy. There is not much time now to go the extra mile [to reach out to voters].”