Multi-cornered contest expected to generate much political heat

After a sluggish start, campaigning in the Tiruchi Lok Sabha constituency has gathered momentum over the past couple of days.

With the constituency witnessing a multi-cornered contest, campaigning in the constituency is expected to generate much political heat.

On Friday, Congress candidate Sarubala R.Tondaiman and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s N.Mu.Anbazhagan went on a street-by-street campaign in the city. While Ms.Sarubala focussed on the old city limits around Rockfort, Mr.Anbazhagan went around Woraiyur areas to canvass for votes. P.Kumar, AIADMK candidate, canvassed support in Tiruverumbur area.

With senior leaders of most parties, except the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam founder Vijaykanth, yet to campaign in the city, the candidates are going about the campaign accompanied by local office bearers of the respective parties and their allies.

Apart from seeking to highlight the major welfare and development initiatives of the United Progressive Alliance government, Ms.Sarubala also sought to project her administrative experience as the former Mayor of the city. Her campaign also sought to bring to fore local issues such as the expansion of the Tiruchi Airport and development of urban infrastructure in Tiruchi.

The DMK’s campaign has also been revolving around development of urban infrastructure or rather the lack of it during the past three years.

Mr.Anbazhagan, former deputy mayor, has been dependent largely on former Minister K.N.Nehru. Mr.Nehru, speaking at a campaign meet on Friday, launched a scathing attack on AIADMK government for foisting cases against him on corruption charges.

Over the past three years, he argued, there has been no development in urban infrastructure in Tiruchi.

Mr.Kumar, who had a head-start as the party was the first to announce its candidates, has been hopping between the city and the rural areas of Pudukottai-Gandharvakottai segments. The party men have largely been reflecting Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s campaign theme.

A.M.G.Vijayakumar of the DMDK, who also started his campaign from Srirangam, has been busy attending party workers and coordination meetings with allies over the past couple of days.

He too has been trying to highlight area-specific infrastructure development issues of the constituency. Mr.Vijayakanth is scheduled to visit for a second round of campaign.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) candidate S.Sridhar has also been busy attending workers meets in various assembly segments and is set to hit the campaign trail on Monday.