After a sluggish start, electioneering in Tiruchi Lok Sabha constituency has turned intensive with candidates straining every sinew to reach out to the voters.
The three main contestants – Congress candidate Su.Thirunavukkarasar, DMDK’s V. Elangovan and the AMMK’s Sarubala R. Tondaiman – have been touring the constituency intensively over the past week. V. Ananda Raja of Makkal Needhi Maiam and V. Vinoth of Naam Tamizhar Katchi are also striving hard to make an impact in the election.
Ms. Tondaiman had made an early start soon after her candidature was announced, but Mr. Thirunavukkarasar and Mr. Elangovan have since caught up with her. All three candidates are hopping between the city and the rural areas of Pudukottai-Gandharvakottai segments in the constituency.
While Ms. Tondaiman has been harping on executing the pending development proposals relating to urban infrastructure, Mr. Thirunavukkarasar has also promised to work for projects such as expansion of the Tiruchi airport and setting up of an integrated bus stand in the city. Mr. Elangovan, who initially said he would study the constituency requirements, has been promising to strive to implement the Cauvery-Vaigai-Gundar river interlinking project.
Ms. Sarubala has also sought to emphasis that she was the ‘daughter of the soil’ and her two main rivals do not belong to Tiruchi. Mr. Elangovan has been countering the argument stating that he had worked in Tiruchi earlier in his career as a doctor and was not new to the city. Mr. Thirunavukkarasar too is pointing out that he hailed from neighbouring Pudukottai. Both have been assuring the electorate that, if elected, they would remain in the city and remain accessible to voters.
While no national leader of the Congress and the BJP have visited the city yet for campaigning, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and DMDK treasurer Premalatha Vijayakant in the AIADMK alliance and senior CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat, MDMK general secretary Vaiko and TNCC president K.S. Alagiri have campaigned in the city and other places in central region. This apart, TTV.Dhinakaran, whose candidates are giving candidates of the two main alliances a run for their money, has also toured the region extensively.
Rahul and Kamal
Sources in the AIADMK alliance say Congress president Rahul Gandhi is likely to visit the city for campaigning. Adding to the star attraction, MNM leader Kamal Haasan is also scheduled to campaign in the city in the coming days.