PARTY: Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam
STATE: Tamil Nadu
MISSION STATEMENT: One job per family
The Virudhunagar Lok Sabha constituency, created after restructuring the earlier Sivakasi seat, was in the news well before the candidature of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko was announced. This was because of the entry of K. Pandia Rajan as the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam’s nominee.
Mr. Pandia Rajan, better known as “Ma Foi” Pandia Rajan after his human resources company, is a man who wants to attack the problem of unemployment. “One job per family,” is his election mantra.
Establishment of a technical university, opening of career centres in all the six Assembly segments to train youth and impart employment skills, conducting periodic job fairs and forming technology-based support centres for local entrepreneurs are integral to his plans of tackling unemployment in Virudhunagar.
His policy, if implemented, would ensure that there is at least one earning member in every family.
Sixty-thousand young people in the constituency are unemployed, according to a survey commissioned by him.
“There is a groundswell of support for me. Having begun my campaign well ahead of others, I have made inroads in the constituency, especially in rural areas,” says Mr. Pandia Rajan, who turned 50 recently.
The fact that his party is going it alone will not be a handicap to fulfilling his promises, he says. Mr. Pandia Rajan, a product of Coimbatore’s PSG College of Technology and XLRI, Jamshedpur, says most of his promises will be implemented through public-private partnership and working closely with the bureaucracy, which he is confident of doing.
On the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the DMDK candidate, who was born in Vilampatti village near Sivakasi, says there needs to be better coordination among government agencies and a scientific approach to project identification. He favours strengthening the scheme, which, he says, can be used to address the problem of shortage of labourers in agriculture. Toning up extension services and forming food processing zones are his priority areas in the farm sector.
Given the educational backwardness of the area, low internet penetration and a politically-controlled local cable television, the DMDK candidate is banking on the door-to-door campaigning and is moves around the constituency by jeep and van.
There is nothing like reaching out to the people directly, says the HR specialist-turned politician.