This new segment was carved out before the 2009 polls from Rasipuram and Tiruchengode constituencies
Better infrastructure, together with industrialisation and schemes to eliminate drinking water scarcity in rural areas, are the major demands in the Namakkal Lok Sabha constituency, and they have remained poll-time promises.
The sitting MP, S. Gandhiselvan, of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) faces some anxious moments on the development front; his claims of having striven for the region’s development is questioned by P.R. Sundaram of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). S.K. Vel of the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), which is part of the BJP-front, and G.R. Subramaniam, district president of the Congress, are the other key candidates.
Mr. Gandhiselvan faults the AIADMK for the hardship undergone by the people of the constituency. “People are disappointed with the State government. As MP, I have done a lot for the constituency. These factors will ensure my victory,” he says.
Mr. Sundaram, fighting on the plank of “Amma (Jayalalithaa) as Prime Minister,” counters that Mr. Gandhiselvan has done nothing significant for the constituency.
Lab for birds
“The egg production hub awaits a high security animal diseases laboratory for testing the birds and the poultry produce. Zoning and compartmentalising of this region to boost egg export is another long-pending demand. These are in addition to the much-awaited cold storage facility that will help to store eggs and sell them when they fetch a better price,” says P. Selvaraj, chairman of the National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC), Namakkal Zone.
V. Subramani, a farmer, points to the need for desilting tanks and canals and diverting excess water from the Cauvery through the Sarabanga and Thirumanimutharu rivers. “This will save rural pockets from water crisis.”
“Tiruchengode and Sankari are in need of an industrial estate to cater for domestic truckers and those from other States who come here for body-building for, and repairs to, trucks,” according to K. Nallathambi, president of the State Lorry Owners Federation-Tamil Nadu.
“On the infrastructure front, the main demand is a ring road for Namakkal and Tiruchengode,” says social activist R.K. Madeshwaran.
The five Assembly segments in the district — Rasipuram (SC), Senthamangalam (ST), Namakkal, Tiruchengode, Paramathi-Velur and Sankari (a part of Salem district) — form the Namakkal Lok Sabha constituency. It came into existence ahead of the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
Till then, one part of it was under the Rasipuram (SC) Lok Sabha constituency and another under the Tiruchengode constituency.