First-timers M.K. Muthukaruppanasamy of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and K. Nithyanandhan of Kongunadu Munnetra Kazhagam (KNMK) are in the race for the prestigious Pollachi Assembly constituency that came into existence in 1952 and is witnessing the 14th election now.
In 1962, it became a general constituency and now has 1,73,393 voters (86,471 males and 86,922 females).
Voters in urban areas are 59,773 and 1,13,620 are in rural belts.
The constituency is primarily an agrarian belt dependant on the Parambikulam – Aliyar Project (PAP) for irrigation. Pollachi has coconut and coir based industries.
The AIADMK had won from here seven times and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Congress, three times each.
From 1977 to 2006, the AIADMK had retained the seat except for 1996 when the DMK swept the elections across the State.
In the last two elections – 2001 and 2006, Pollachi V. Jayaraman was returned from the constituency but he is trying his luck from Udumalpet constituency this time. Apart from the AIADMK and KNMK candidates, V.K. Raghunathan of the Bharatiya Janata Party is also in the fray.
The promises of almost all the candidates are: a Government Arts and Science College for Pollachi, Coconut Board and sops for coir industry, cold storage facility for vegetables.
All candidates in almost all the elections had promised a Government college for Pollachi and the promise is yet to become a reality, say voters.
A pre-dominantly agrarian constituency looks for more benefits from the PAP, a scheme considered an engineering marvel. The PAP scheme at present helps in irrigating four lakh acres in four zones.
The scheme was originally aimed at fetching close to 25 tmcft of water but the realisation has come down by 30 per cent thanks to the vagaries of Nature and other factors such as water theft and seepage loss.
The recently inaugurated project for repairing the dilapidated Contour Canal measuring 49.3 km from Sircarpathy to Thirumurty reservoir at Rs. 185 crore is a shot in the arm for the KNMK nominee who belongs to the Democratic Progressive Alliance (DPA) led by the DMK.
The DMK is showcasing the new bus stand as its achievement while the Opposition is criticising the chaotic traffic in the bus stand area as a failure of the Government.
The other major grouse of the farmers in PAP system is the delay in completion of the Anamalaiaru and Nallaru schemes, waiting for Kerala to formally declare the completion of Idamalaiaru scheme.
The completion of the two schemes will help in enhancing the water availability by two tmcft.
Sops for the coconut growers, better price for coconuts and copra and government aid for the coconut growers in distress besides permission for toddy tapping are some of the issues that dominate the poll campaign.
Village panchayats: Arasampalayam, Panapatti, Mettubavi, Vadasithur, Kondampatty, Kothavadi, Kurunallipalayam, Periakalandai, Kattampatti, Andipalayam, Chettikapalayam, Nallatipalayam, Devarayapuram, Govindapuram, Sulakkal, Poravipalayam, Servakaranpalayam, Vadakkipalayam, Mettuppalayam, Mullipadi, Kaniyalampalayam, Devanampalayam, Kappalankarai, Sirukalandai, Chandrapuram, Sinna Negamam, Vaguthampalayam, Kakkadavu, Shoanur, Santhegoundenpalayam, Kullichettipalayam, Poosanaickendhali, Devambadi, Ramapattinam, Thalakkarai, Chikkarayapuyram, Kabilipalayam, Okkilipalayam, Kurumbapalayam, Kualakkalpalayam, Varadanur, Vellalapalayam, Thoppampatti, Rasakkapalayam, Puliampatti, R. Ponnapuram, Kittasurampalayam, Anupparpalayam, Z. Muthur, Ayyampalayam, Nallathukuli, Kumarapalayam, Manur, Thimmanguthu, Rasichettipalayam, Bodipalayam, Kulathur and Servaikaranpalayam villages.
Periya Negamam Town Panchayat, Achipatti Census Town and Pollachi Municipality.