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Sub-regional parties in Kongu belt get into election mode

Karthik Madhavan and
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Kongu Nadu Munnetra Kazhagam president 'Best' S. Ramaswamy (centre) introducing the Lok Sabha poll candidates for six constituencies at a party meeting held in Coimbatore on Sunday.— Photo: M. Periasamy
Kongu Nadu Munnetra Kazhagam president 'Best' S. Ramaswamy (centre) introducing the Lok Sabha poll candidates for six constituencies at a party meeting held in Coimbatore on Sunday.— Photo: M. Periasamy

The two Kongu region-based parties took their next step on Sunday with the Kongu Nadu Munnetra Kazhagam releasing a list of candidates in Coimbatore for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Around 50 km away, in Perumanallur in Tirupur district, its breakaway group, Kongunadu Makkal Desiya Katchi (KMDK) , conducted a “Political Renaissance Conference.”

The Kongu Nadu Munnetra Kazhagam (KNMK) was looking at alliance with only national parties for the 2014 general election, the party president ‘Best’ S. Ramasamy said in Coimbatore on Sunday.

Since the 2014 general election was for a political formation at the national level, the party was not very keen on alliance with regional parties. In this regard, though both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party had approached the KNMK, the party was yet to take a call on alliance. But given the trend, the people were looking for a change at the Centre.

Asked if he was hinting at an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party as he had said that the people were looking for a change, Mr. Ramasamy said he would not contradict the statement. He was addressing journalists after releasing a list of six candidates for the election.

On behalf of the Desiya Samuthaya Koottamaipu, an alliance of 54 organisations, R. Manikandan would contest from the Tirupur Parliamentary Constituency, M. Thangavel from Erode, Nandu from Coimbatore, R. Govindasamy from Pollachi, P. Saravanan from Dharmapuri and S. Ganesa Thevar from Ramanathapuram.

The party would field candidates from 22 Parliamentary constituencies from Tamil Nadu but at present it had chosen to announce the names of only six candidates. The decision to declare the names early was to start the ground work well in advance, Mr. Ramasamy said.

He denied that KNMK was a party of the members of the Gounder caste.

In Tirupur, KMDK general secretary E. R. Eswaran accused the two Dravidian parties of having neglected the Kongu region. He said the economic growth attained by the region was mainly due to efforts of individuals and enterprises.

The region, which contributed almost 70 per cent of the industrial activity in the State, deserved better treatment - exemption from prolonged power cuts and the provision of infrastructure on a par with Chennai.

As of now, there was no talk or decision regarding alliance, he said, reiterating the demands for lifting the ban on toddy tapping and for giving adequate protection to the agriculture crops from elephants, peacocks and other animals.

On Tirupur knitwear industry, he said that the cluster developed through efforts of dynamic entrepreneurs but still been confronted with environmental concerns. “In this scenario, the State government should help the industry by lifting the effluents generated in the wet processing and discharge it in the sea,” he added.

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