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Campaign hotting up along with summer temps

By Staff
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Chennai, May 2 (UNI) Winding up whirlwind campaign in the districts, leaders of various political parties in Tamil Nadu including Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and DMK Supremo M Karunanidhi, are descending on the capital city as the election heats up along with summer temperatures.

With just a week left for the 'do or die' battle of the ballot, and campaign ending at 1700 hrs on May 6, leaders have stepped up the intensity in the crucial final week.

While Mr Karunanidhi and Marumalarchi DMK (MDMK) leader Vaiko returned here today, Ms Jayalalithaa is arriving tomorrow and will undertake hectic voter-wooing in the city and suburbs till May 6.

Soon after his arrival, Mr Vaiko began campaigning at Chepauk in support of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) faction pitted against Mr Karunanidhi. The DMK leader, who arrived here this morning from Coimbatore, also hit the campaign trail at Chepauk this evening.

This was Mr Karunanidhi's fourth round of campaign on home turf, though he is poised to achieve a hatrick from the tiny constituency.

Ms Jayalalithaa, who began her campaign on March 31 from Saidapet, extensively toured the state for the past 32 days.

Orginally, she was scheduled to take a day's rest after six days of non-stop campaign, but chose to tour on the rest day too.

The Chief Minister was scheduled to return here from Salem by helicopter. She then begins her campaign from Chennai airport, right away.

She is scheduled to cover the city and neighbouring districts of Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur in the next four days.

Meanwhile, the DMK-led DPA had invited Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to address poll meetings in Tiruchirapalli and here on May 4. Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who had visited the state on April 25, is expected visit the state again on May 5.

The CPI(M) had lined up its national leaders like Prakash Karat, Brinda Karat, Sitaram Yechury and Tripura Chief Minister Manicksarkar for the final campaigning from May 2 to 5. Mr Karat is scheduled to address poll meetings at Erode, Perundurai, Tirupur, Cuddalore and Chidambaram and Mr Yechury at Madurai, Dindigul and Nagapattinam.

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