The Karur Lok Sabha constituency is all set to witness a four-cornered fight involving the AIADMK, the DMK, the DMDK and the Congress. The AIADMK’s incumbent M. Thambidurai, who was the first to launch the campaign in the first week of March, was initially going round the town crying foul of the DMK’s first family and their “exploits”. He also spoke about the maladministration of the Congress party and rile its leaders for the numerous scams that rocked the past decade.
While his listeners wanted him to speak of problems such as drinking water scarcity, economic slowdown affecting their jobs and livelihood, drought, pollution and the like, Mr. Thambidurai thought that his broadside against Congress and DMK would fetch him winning votes.
After some instances of opposition in villages, he is now talking about formulating schemes to benefit the locals.
The DMK has fielded M. Chinnasamy, a former Minister in the Jayalalithaa government. While his candidature enthused many in the AIADMK, it has not amused some in the DMK.
In fact, it is doubtful if Mr. Thambidurai and Mr. Chinnasamy could derive the full backing of their party cadres given the undercurrent of intra-party feuds in the camps.
But the suave Mr. Chinnasamy is exhorting the DMK and its allies to stand united and bid for victory. Claiming that he is a “son of the soil”, the DMK candidate is harping on the AIADMK regime’s “failure” to continue DMK government’s “public-oriented initiatives” as the present day rulers are “unable to digest the popularity of those schemes”.
One prominent and pertinent promise Mr. Chinnasamy makes is that if elected he would be “accessible” and deliver on the promises, the major charge against the sitting MP.
DMDK’s N.S. Krishnan is also an old AIADMK hand and he is faulting both the DMK and the AIADMK for their “misdeeds and corruption”.
His main poll plank is securing people’s support for a “corruption-free Central government”.
For that, he stresses that it could only be BJP’s Narendra Modi as Prime Minister and that is what his leader Vijaykant was interested to steer India out of the current mess it is finding itself in.
The Congress finally came up with the name of S. Jothimani, who had contested unsuccessfully in the Karur Assembly seat losing badly to V. Senthil Balaji who went on to become Transport Minister in 2011.
Though just 38, Ms. Jothimani has occupied many organisational positions in the party and is at present the all India secretary of the Mahila Congress. She has been State vice-president, All India Youth Congress general secretary and Coordinator for some States. It must be a pretty tough job for her to sell Congress, bedevilled by a plethora of problems. But Ms.Jothimani might give a new dimension to the campaign like when she brought party vice-president Rahul Gandhi to Karur in 2011. It would be a gargantuan task for her to match the resources and rhetoric of her competitors.