Congress candidate S. Jothimani and M. Thambidurai, AIADMK MP, might be close to their respective party leadership but are skating on thin ice in the Karur Lok Sabha constituency.
While influential sections of Congress local leaders have opposed the nomination of Ms. Jothimani, an undercurrent of opposition among yesteryear party leaders is troubling Mr. Thambidurai.
Chief Minister Jayalalithaa repeatedly pressed into service party Parliamentary floor leader Mr. Thambidurai for interacting with New Delhi-based politicians and he had remained her eyes and ears all through the past few years.
Ms. Jothimani is the national secretary of the Mahila Congress after a stint in Youth Congress under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.
Youth Congress, Traders’ Wing, and even the Mahila Congress local leaders had jointly despatched a fax to Congress President Sonia Gandhi seeking to replace Ms. Jothimani for “neglecting” the local party cadre in the aftermath of her humiliating defeat in the 2011 Assembly elections.
Their grouse was that while she was perceived to be close to Mr. Rahul Gandhi and Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, she never took the local party leaders and cadres into confidence.
Except for a couple of occasions, Ms. Jothimani had not participated in any of the Congress protests or programmes in Karur.
Ms. Jothimani’s opponents include S. Jagadeesh, Karur Assembly Congress unit president and son of the District Congress Committee president Bank Subramanian.
Mr. Thambidurai’s problems were similar. The public perception of Mr. Thambidurai’s tenure was that he was not seen as frequently he should h ave been in the constituency.Resentment
The public in many areas of Manaparai and Viralimalai demonstrated their resentment to his track record when he went to solicit votes in those regions recently.
Reading the situation right, Mr. Thambidurai changed tack and was now concentrating on promises to meet their aspirations rather than hitting out at opponents alone during his campaign.