PMK gains ground in TN’s Dharmapuri

While the PMK had announced the name of the Dharmapuri East district secretary, Arasangam as its candidate, it later fielded the wife of the party’s chief Anbumani Ramadoss, Sowmiya Anbumani….reports Asian Lite News

The political arm of the powerful Vanniyar community, PMK, which is an alliance partner of the BJP, is gaining ground in a three-cornered fight in Tamil Nadu’s Dharmapuri Lok Sabha seat.

While the PMK had announced the name of the Dharmapuri East district secretary, Arasangam as its candidate, it later fielded the wife of the party’s chief Anbumani Ramadoss, Sowmiya Anbumani.

Sowmiya’s entry abruptly shifted the mood in the constituency, which was previously headed for a showdown between the two Dravidian giants, DMK and AIADMK.

With only a few days remaining for the voting day, Sowmiya has made significant strides on the ground, with the well-oiled machinery of the BJP and PMK working overtime to ensure a win for her.

The DMK-led INDIA bloc has fielded A. Mani, a lawyer, replacing sitting MP S. Senthilkumar, who was quite popular in the Dharmapuri constituency. The incumbent MP has implemented multiple schemes in the constituency, leading to expectations of his re-election.

Senthilkumar made controversial remarks that the “BJP came to power in Gaumutra (North Indian) states”. However, he had to apologise after Chief Minister M.K. Stalin reprimanded him.

The AIADMK has fielded its Dharmapuri district leader’s son, R. Ashokan, who is a doctor.

Even though all three fronts have fielded Vanniyar community candidates, Sowmiya has an edge. The founder leader of the PMK, S. Ramadoss is highly influential in the community and has extensively campaigned in the constituency for his daughter-in-law, Sowmiya.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, DMK candidate Senthilkumar won the seat by 70,753 votes, defeating Anbumani Ramadoss of the PMK, who had contested as an NDA candidate.

The Dharmapuri Lok Sabha seat comprises six Assembly seats, namely Palacode, Pennagaram, Dharmapuri, Pappireddipatti, Harur and Mettur. In the 2021 Assembly elections, the AIADMK won in Palacode, Pappireddippati and Harur, while the PMK was able to secure Pennagaram, Dharampuri and Mettur.

This means that even though the DMK is representing the Dharmapuri Lok Sabha seat, in the 2021 Assembly elections the party drew a blank while both the PMK and AIADMK shared the six seats with three each.

The BJP and PMK are leaving no stone unturned and the NDA has already announced that if Sowmiya is elected she would get a cabinet berth in the new government to be formed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Centre.

P.S. Surulinathan, a retired government employee of Pappireddipatti while speaking to IANS said: ”PM Narendra Modi is very popular here and the NDA is campaigning with the tagline of ‘Modi ki Guarantee’ which has struck a chord with the voters.”

He said that the NDA campaign of Sowmiya to be given a Cabinet Minister post if the BJP is elected to power at the Centre has also given a huge impetus to the alliance and specifically the PMK candidate.

Dayanidhi Maran eyes another term in Chennai Central

Tamil Nadu’s Chennai Central Lok Sabha seat, with six assembly segments, will witness a fierce battle between the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the upcoming polls for the Lower House.

The DMK has fielded incumbent MP Dayanidhi Maran, seeking to retain the seat, while the BJP has announced Vinoj P Selvam is giving a tight fight to Maran.

Other parties in the poll fray include Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) and Naam Tamizhar Katchi (NTK). DMDK is the party founded by late actor Vijayakant.

DMDK, an ally partner of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, has named B Parthasarathy to fight from Chennai Central, while R Karthikeyan, a doctor by profession, is fighting for NTK.

The constituency includes Villivakkam, Egmore, Harbour, Chepauk, Triplicane, Thousand Lights and Anna Nagar assembly segments.

Chennai Central is considered a stronghold of DMK, considering its history with the Maran family.

Sitting MP Dayanidhi Maran had won from the constituency in 2004, 2009 and 2019. The latter was the Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology in the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government in 2004. Dayanidhi Maran’s father, late Union Minister Murasoli Maran, had also represented the seat three times.

“We have done a good job for the welfare of the people in the last 5 years. Whether in the COVID-19 pandemic or other occasions, the DMK cadres were there at the forefront. I hope people will make me win again from this constituency,” Maran said while speaking to the reporters after filing his nomination earlier in March.

However, Maran’s tenure has been filled with controversies, including allegations of corruption and nepotism. Accusations regarding irregularities in 2G spectrum allocation and misuse of power have subjected him to legal scrutiny. Yet, Maran commands a strong presence in the poll scene, seeking a fourth term in the seat.

While BJP’s Vinoj P Selvam exudes confidence, banking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “way of working” while asserting to be “the change people want to see”.

“The first promise I make is that the people will see me after the elections as well. I’m going to be the MP who’s going to work for the people. We are from PM Narendra Modi’s organisation, from his party. We believe in his way of working and we’re here to serve the people and we are sure to be the change that the people want to see,” Vinoj said during one of his campaign events.

Vinoj was in the election fray during the 2021 assembly elections but was defeated by DMK’s PK Sekhar Babu, the present Tamil Nadu Minister of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments.

One of the major issues raised by the residents in the constituency spread across the six assembly segments is the heavy congestion due to narrow roads.

Another one is that of better drainage systems. Chennai Central was one of the areas that was badly hit by the recent floods due to an improper drainage system.

Looking at the history, in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Dayanidhi Maran defeated Pattali Makkal Katchi’s (PMK) candidate, SR Sam Paul, by a margin of 3,00,337 votes. PMK was an ally of AIADMK in 2019 but later severed ties and joined hands with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance.

Maran lost to ADMK’s SR Vijayakumar by a margin of 46,123 votes in the 2014 general elections.

In the 2019 elections, the DMK-led Secular Progressive Alliance secured an overwhelming victory, winning 38 out of 39 seats.

All 39 seats in Tamil Nadu will vote in a single phase on April 19 and the counting of votes will be held on June 4. Tamil Nadu ranks fifth in terms of Lok Sabha seats, with 39 seats, including 32 unreserved seats and seven reserved for SC candidates.

The election for 543 Lok Sabha seats in the country will be held in seven phases starting April 19. (ANI)

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