Staff Reporter

84 independents in race; contestants make the same promises

CHENNAI: Porur has registered the highest number of candidates among the town panchayats adjoining Chennai.

A total of 133 candidates are in the fray to represent the 18 wards in the urban body. Eighty-four of those contesting in Porur are independents. Residents and candidates point out that several `independents' are actually party members who have `differences' with their party and could join up again, if the numbers and circumstances are favourable.

All contestants are making promises that include providing drinking water connections, laying roads and completion of the Underground Drainage Scheme. Contestants are refusing to speculate on possible candidates for the post of president.

The results would have to decide that, said several people, including those from parties that had secured a sizable number of seats in the 2001 elections. The current president, Sivaprabhu, elected directly in 2001, is hoping to improve his chances by launching the `Porur Makkal Kootani' (Porur People's Alliance) for which candidates are being fielded in 10 wards.

Maintenance work is the business of the local bodies, and providing quality and planned maintenance of essential services would be his main promise, he said.