Tamil Nadu Assembly elections 2021: Constituency Watch

Close fight between DMK, PMK in Dharmapuri

Dharmapuri, primarily a Vanniyar dominated constituency, is set to witness a close contest between Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Pattali Makkal Katchi.

The constituency lags in an industry led employment forcing educated youth to look for employment elsewhere, primarily in Bengaluru. The SIPCOT industrial estate that was announced in 2011, remains an unfulfilled dream of Dharmapuri.Panjapalli water supply scheme that was primary source of drinking water for Dharmapuri was stopped.

The constituency is made up of the municipality with its 33 wards and a contiguous rural belt. The DMK traditionally has held sway over the town voters. While the rural extensions such as Elakyampatty panchayat, and villages of Nallampalli union are Vanniyar dominated. A significant proportion of government employees, seen as the vote bank of the DMK, are residents of Dharmapuri municipality.

Incidentally, the 10.5% internal quota for Vanniyars is selectively used as a campaign agenda. As if to not spurn the other backward communities that are purportedly aggrieved by the quota for Vanniyars, the internal quota is selectively flaunted as a feat of the PMK in PMK held areas and not everywhere in the constituency.

Both the DMK and the PMK summon bulk support in different parts of the constituency. However, like the other PMK constituency of Pennagaram, there is resentment among the AIADMK’s local aspirants for conceding the constituency to the PMK. And like Pennagaram, there is no telling of an absolute transfer of the AIADMK votes in the favour of the PMK owing to this grievance. In addition, like in other PMK fought constituencies, the DMK has whisked in the family of the late Vanniyar Sangam leader Kaaduvetti Guru to undercut the PMK’s campaign.

The AIADMK’s alliance with the BJP and the symbol of PMK are two factors that is expected to steer away minority and Dalit votes from the alliance in favour of the DMK. The constituency has 14% Adidravidars, 18% other intermediate castes, 4.4% Muslims and 3.6% Christians, among others.

The PMK has won the seat twice in 2001 and 2006, DMDK won in 2011, and the DMK won the seat in 2016.

The DMK has fielded its incumbent MLA P. Subramani. While the PMK has fielded the district chairman S.P. Venkateswaran.

Makkal Needhi Maiam has fielded Jaya Venkatesh, and the AMMK has fielded D.K. Rajendran.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 9:15:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/tamil-nadu-assembly/close-fight-between-dmk-pmk-in-dharmapuri/article34200867.ece

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