Sri MGR Year 98, 24th September, Thursday
In the earlier post we had given a detailed account on how our beloved Leader MGR faced the challenge of implementing the Nutritious meal scheme and how he succeeded, this episode will give you the exhaustive information about the first election victory, 1973 Dindukal Parliamentary election victory of MGR as the head of ADMK party, the emergence of Two Leaves symbol and the first time the symbol printed in all the newspapers of those days. The episode looks very much like a MGR movie though the script was written and directed by God.
After our Puratchi Thalaivar MGR was ousted from DMK on 10th October 1972, people extended their support and insisted to form a party. After touring the nook and cranny of Tamil Nadu, MGR took the decision to form a party on 17th October 1972 and named it as Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. MGR shared most of his times for politics with less importance to movies.
In the year 1971, when MGR was in DMK, Rajangam who was elected as a member of parliament from Dindukal constituency, two years later he died and the seat fell vacant. MGR announced that his party will contest for the by-election.
The centre was ruled by Indira Gandhi (Congress I), the state was ruled by Karunanidhi (DMK), the most praised politician of that time Kamaraj also known as King Maker (Syndicate Congress) had a substantial vote share, who also politically gained a weightage by calling the DMK as a corrupt party right from 1971.
Challenges faced by MGR for Dindukal election:
1. MGR’s own production and 3 year old project Emgeeyar Pictures Ulagam Sutrum Vaaliban is in the completion stage as the background score work is going on amidst the power cut imposed by MGR’s political enemy.
2. The party ADMK does not have a election symbol.
3. The party is six months old.
4. Very little media coverage for ADMK when compared to other political parties.
5. MGR has to face the political giants, Syndicate Congress headed by Kamaraj, his arch enemy and Leader of DMK, Karunanidhi and Congress I, backed by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
6. MGR’s ally Communist Party of India announced his candidate.
7. The Dindukal Parliamentary constituency consists of 6 state assembly constituencies. They are Thirumangalam, Usilampatti, Nilakottai, Cholavanthan, Dindukal and Aathur. Nilakottai, Cholavanthan and Aathur were held by DMK, Thirumangalam and Usilampatti held by Forward Bloc and remaining one Dindukal was held by Syndicate Congress. And the majority of panchayath union posts were DMK.
8. The ruling party DMK propagated that MGR is an alien and he is a non Tamil (Malayali).
In the midst of these turmoil, the election commission announced the date of election.
|18.04.1973||Filing of Nomination|
|25.04.1973||Last date for nomination|
|26.04.1973||Review of Candidacy|
|28.04.1973||Last date for withdrawal of nomination|
Kamaraj and Syndicate Congress party kick started their election campaign one month before the election. (reference given below, Navamani issue dated 21.4.1973, )
By 21.4.1973 all parties had filed their nomination except ADMK. Apart from the challenges given above MGR has to face another hindrance from his blood brothers (own party men) expressing the dissatisfaction over naming of Mayadevar as the party candidate. The same was resolved on the final day that is 25.4.1973 the last date for nomination. Reference given below.
By May 2nd 1973, MGR took a small break from Ulagam Sutrum Vaaliban movie completion and went on to attend the campaign. Returned the next day for the movie project, MGR used his time wisely finished the movie and successfully made arrangements for the release of the movie and at the same time safe guarded the negatives and theatre print.
MGR returned to Dindukal and continued his campaign from 10th May 1973. The very next day Emgeeyar Pictures Ulagam Sutrum Vaaliban was released all over Tamil Nadu amidst the ruling party atrocities. The then Mayor of Madurai, Madurai Muthu announced that he will wear a saree if Ulagam Sutrum Vaaliban gets released, hinting that the movie negatives have been sabotaged.
But the movie became a great success, many MGR fans sent saree parcels to Madurai Muthu’s address, including my father.
With one week left for the election MGR pooled all his resources went nook and cranny of villages in Dindukal spoke to the large gathering in mid night and canvassed for the new party symbol Two Leaves. MGR’s simplified down to earth oration skill and psychological approach towards his people successfully etched the new party symbol to their sub conscious mind. (the symbol still remains as a synonym to MGR)
DMK party leader and his ministers camped in Dindukal for more then a week and used their tactics by pasting old posters (1971, when MGR was in DMK) as MGR is asking people to vote for the Rising Sun the party symbol of DMK so as to confuse the public.
The final list of candidates are:
|Name Of The Candidate||Name Of The Party|
The Communist party of India withdrew their nomination and allied with MGR for active campaign. The day before election the media predicted that the contest is between DMK and Syndicate Congress, since ADMK will likely to split some DMK votes which might favour Syndicate Congress. And as usual respective party members predicted that they are going to win, by a margin of 1,10,000 votes and DMK even went farther and printed victory posters. Puratchi Thalaivar MGR too predicted that ADMK will win with big difference, he told this election is a holy war, and he also asked his party members and allies to be careful since Karunanidhi having money power might try his henchmen to rig the election by bogus voting and might try to stop people who will vote for ADMK. (all this is given in the above image with high resolution, with MGR’s statement in the lower right corner)
The election was peaceful but DMK tried their best to avoid people in voting by using the goons, attacking ADMK and allied members. One old lady died of natural cause after casting her vote. The media and as well other political parties were taken back when the counting began on 21st May 1973.
From the start ADMK was leading in all the 6 constituencies, the lead was huge, like in MGR movie Nallavan Vazhvan, (when the result was announced without knowing who had won, M.R.Radha and his men start to celebrate) the members of Syndicate Congress in Madurai by 11 am, announced that they are leading by 9,000 votes and started to celebrate by bursting crackers. When the announcement came their celebration stopped below is the newspaper cut.
Below is the historical victory of ADMK as recorded.
K.Mayadevar (ADMK) – 2,60,824 votes
N.S.V.Sidhan (Syndicate Congress) – 1,19,032 votes
Pon. Muthuramalingam (DMK) – 93,496 votes
Seemaisamy (Congress I) – 11,423 votes
Puratchi Thalaivar MGR asked the people to support their 6 month old baby ADMK and to stand against the corrupted rule in Tamil Nadu. They accepted his request and they gave impressive victory to MGR and at the same time rejected the pleas of Karunanidhi who asked to prefer Tamil (his party man) against a non Tamil (MGR).
Aftermath of ADMK first victory will be dealt in separate post.