The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's first youth conference began in Tirunelveli, south Tamil Nadu on Saturday. Lakhs of their cadres from all over the state descended on this small town and created havoc.
All roads leading to Tirunelveli have been jammed since 2 pm. The flag mast was 84 feet high as the DMK president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi is 84 years old.
After hoisting the flag, a rally was flagged off. The rally is from VOC ground Palayamcottai to the medical college ground, which is the venue of the conference.
DMK youth wing president and Local Administration Minister and Karunanidhi's son Stalin led the rally in an open jeep. The DMK cadres cheered him lustily.
The rally was truly impressive with elephants and horses in attendance. The DMK cadres participating in the rally were dressed in various uniforms. Some were dressed as medieval soldiers. Others like modern day NCC cadets. There were a few dressed like Karunanidhi and Stalin too.
The rally which started at around 4 pm is expected to go on till late night. This will be followed by a play highlighting 84 years of the chief's life. Five-hundred and fifty people are acting in this play, which has characters playing Karunanidhi, Kamaraj and Annadurai.
The chief minister and his ministers watched the rally from a stage set up midway.
Tomorrow is the main event where party speakers will enlighten the cadres about the direction the party will take. Stalin and Karunanidhi's speeches will be followed closely as the heir apparent might be crowned king here.
There are three trains to Chennai from Tirunelveli every evening. There is no way passengers travelling in these trains can reach the station. All roads leading to Tirunelveli have been blocked by the cops.
The cops say, "The city roads are jammed." All this points to poor planning by the traffic police, as if they did not know that these many vehicles would arrive.
The situation will be worse on Sunday as none of these cadres will leave today and tomorrow more are expected to listen to Karunanidhi.
In an interaction with the press Stalin said, "We will be ensuring jobs for graduates in the state, unemployment and other issues will be discussed in this meet."
The DMK party has hired thousands of buses from all over the state to bring their party men here. They have hired a lot of government buses too which ply on passenger routes. Thus the passengers in all parts of the state have been badly affected.
The wine shops in Tirunelveli have been running out of liquor as the cadres are very high in spirits. As tomorrow is a Sunday, the wine shops cannot restock their empty shelves.