At a time when the Dravidian majors, AIADMK and DMK, are campaigning intensely in as many ways as possible, including roping in film stars, the Congress campaign is lacklustre in Tamil Nadu as the party is bereft of allies and its candidates short of funds to run the show..
With just few days left for the April 24 Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu, in several constituencies, Congress candidates are seldom seen in the field and even routine campaigning like distributing pamphlets are missing.
"It would have been good if All India Congress Committee had allocated better funds for campaigning. However, it is my responsibility also to take care of the campaign," TN Bharath Nachiappan, Congress candidate in Madurai constituency said.
Some candidates and a former Lok Sabha MP from Chennai, whose son is a nominee, said the party had "surprisingly" not allocated even the "usual" funds, which is straining election work.
"Some are even finding it tough to buy tea or coffee for party workers who slog all the day," another leader said.
Asked if such claims were true, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee President BS Gnanadesikan said, "Though the ground and electoral climate is good for Congress, it is true that candidates are suffering from paucity of funds." Asked about the "actual funds" candidates had received, no party functionary came forward to disclose it. However, they indicated that it could not be even compared with money spent in the municipal elections.
Some Congress functionaries, requesting anonymity, alleged that candidates were actually not even "spending a paisa" out of the financial support they had got from the party as they are "anyway going to lose" the polls.
On the other hand, ruling AIADMK and arch rival DMK is going full steam with their leaders criss-crossing the state, canvassing votes. The rivals have also roped in actors to pep up their campaign. Actors like Khushboo and Chandrasekar are campaigning for DMK, while Vindhya, Ramarajan, comedian Senthil are electioneering for AIADMK.