A group of youngsters who protested the ban on the bull-taming sport of Jallikattu, as part of a massive upsurge in January, has formed a political party En Desam En Urimai Katchi (My Nation My Right Party) and is set to contest the upcoming bypoll in Dr Radhakrishnan Nagar. The seat fell vacant after the death of sitting MLA and chief minister J Jayalalithaa.
The protesters who gathered during the Jallikattu
protest in Chennai gave shape to a political party by the end of February. They are now registering MNMR Party
as a permanent platform to fight for various social issues.
"We did not allow any political party to join us during the protest and you know that on the last day of the protest the entire issue happened because of some political outfits and the police. This led us to think that we also need a political party, which would help us to conduct protests on other issues," said Deviprasad, one of the co-ordinators of the newly formed party.
The party is in the process of selecting a candidate through tests, providing marks based on their approach to various questions. The questions would be on the contestant's understanding on the issues in the constituency and what would his approach in addressing those issues. So far the funding was from the members' pockets and it expects public funding going forward to participate in the election.
"When we were in the Jallikattu
protest, nobody had any idea about how we will get food, water or other amenities to continue the protest. Public supported us in all the ways. We expect public to support in this also," he added. The party at present has around 250 coordinators in Chennai and a total of 8 lakh members across the state.
The ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) is fielding TTV Dinakaran, deputy general secretary of the party and a family member of party general secretary V K Sasikala, while the O Panneerselvam faction has announced its party leader E Madhusudanan as a candidate, where as the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has announced M Ganesh, a local leader as its candidate. Besides, Deepa Jayakumar, niece of Jayalalithaa, has also formed a party and announced that she will contest in the byelection.
The election is scheduled to be held on April 12.