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Thalaivar on a sticky wicket

The DMK party office told us that party chief Dr Kalaignar Karunanidhi would begin campaigning from Chindadiripet, a locality inhabited by poor people in his Chepauk constituency, by 4 pm. But, when we arrived at the appointed hour, it was quiet and devoid of colour. The horses that were to lead the procession stood by the side of the road. The men who were to ride them were colourfully dressed, but asleep on the pavement.

Some distance away stood the uniformed cadres of the DMK in red and black, all carrying party flags. Blaring from the loudspeaker was Manmada Raasa -- the same song they had used during the last elections, four years ago. It was only after a few minutes that I realized the lyrics had changed. They had been rewritten specifically for the Thalaivar and the party.

Text: Shobha Warrier. Photographs: Sreeram Selvaraj

Also See: Amma came, saw and conquered

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