The DMK and its allies in the state – the Congress and Communist parties, have been hitting the streets in the last week to collect 'signatures from citizens' against the Citizenship Amendment Act, National Population Register and National Register of Citizens.
The signature campaign which was launched by the party on February 2, culminated on Sunday with the DMK President MK Stalin writing a letter to his party cadres claiming that the signature campaign has turned into a "people's movement". He claimed that more than 2 crore signatures were received against the act. He also mentioned in the letter that the party and its allies would hand over the signatures received to the President of India and continue its protest against the CAA.
However, the DMK party cadres seem to have resorted to all means to make their signature campaign "a success".
In a video that is going viral on social media, party cadres in Palayamkotai in Tirunelveli district are seen collecting signatures from devotees on their way to Tiruchendur temple in return for food packets. The innocent devotees thought that they were signing in receipt for the food packets.
In another video, a young man can be seen politely confronting a lady collecting signatures, to explain what CAA is and how it affects the people residing in this country. The lady goes on to behave rudely with the youngster saying that "Will you sign or not? If you're not signing, bug off!" After a fierce argument, the women cadres vacate from the place.
Across the state, the DMK party cadres have been coercing random people on the streets to sign. In some places, school children have been asked to sign. Not only is this a clear invasion of privacy but it also amounts to deceit.
While the DMK President claims to have collected 2 crore signatures, exceeding the set limit of 1 crore signatures, sources say that only a lakh signatures have been obtained. Some sources say that the party cadres themselves forged signatures to fill up spaces by signing in different styles and filling random names and numbers.
It looks like the DMK has used coercion, bribery, forgery, deceit and exploitation of innocence for making the signature campaign a success.