Tamil Nadu Assembly elections 2021: Constituency Watch

Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections | Lacking in development, Dindigul poses a test for Minister

The Dindigul Assembly constituency, from where Forest Minister Dindigul C. Srinivasan is seeking to get re-elected, has returned Congress and CPI(M) candidates several times since it came into being in 1957.

Jamal Mohideen of the Congress won the first-ever election here. Only in 1984 did AIADMK’s Premkumar win the seat. The DMK registered its first victory in the constituency in 1996, when Manimaran became its MLA.

Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections | Lacking in development, Dindigul poses a test for Minister

The constituency is compact, in that it comprises 48 wards of the Corporation, nine panchayats and a few villages and its population has a mix of various castes, including Pillaimar, Vanniyar, Naidu and Sourashtra, besides Muslims and Christians. Having a total electorate of 2,75,979, The constituency has not witnessed any tangible development worth mentioning, say its residents. Places like Kodaikanal, Sirumalai and Lord Muruga’s abode, Palani among others, could have been developed in a big way, they felt.

Mr. Srinivasan, who has also served as a Member of Parliament, is a familiar figure. But a section of the electorate felt that he had not done much on the development front. For instance, work on the Balakrishnapuram bridge has been going on for almost seven years. Similarly, work on an underpass on the Palani-Dindigul stretch has been going on for the last six years. The AIADMK government upgraded the Dindigul Municipality into a Corporation but residents are yet to benefit from the move. “No one, including the civic officials, have a clue as to when the underground drainage work would be completed in all the wards,” a resident said.

Many roads have been dug up and motorists have a harrowing experience navigating them. Dindigul, which connects Madurai and Tiruchi with Tiruppur, was once famous for its lock industry. However, over the years, the sector has gone silent. The elected representatives have not taken any initiative to revive it, an entrepreneur said.

The city does not have a state-of-the-art bus stand. The existing Kamarajar bus stand is being used, as a result of which the roads are always congested. The promise to set up a park for weavers has not materialised. Similarly, farmers growing onion and garlic do not have any storage facility. There are around 30 to 50 small and medium leather/tannery units. They, too, have not got any support from the government, and are constantly under the scanner of the pollution control board..

Even before Gandhi Market could be constructed fully, the AIADMK inaugurated it in a hurried manner. Barely a few hours before the model code of conduct came into force, it was opened. But the market has been functioning outside the premises.

Speaking to The Hindu, The Minister said the Cauvery water scheme, which had been initiated by the DMK, was completed by the AIADMK. “This is a major achievement. The ‘Kudimaramathu’ scheme has benefited the district in a big way, and farmers are able to conserve water. . The yield of agricultural produce has increasedacross the district,” he added.

Most importantly, the effective handling of the pandemic brought the virus under control, he said.

Admitting that ongoing development work may be posing difficulties for the residents, , he said they would improve the standard of living in the coming years. Attributing the delay in projects to land acquisition and other factors, He said the Balakrishnapuram flyover would be completed by 2021.

The DMK has given the seat to its ally, the CPI(M), which has fielded N. Pandi, a veteran politician who is regarded to be accessible and people-friendly. . Having thorough knowledge of the issues facing Dindigul, He is confident of emerging the victor by a margin of at least 25,000 votes.. The DMK-CPI(M) and their allies are confident of garnering a majority of the votes in Begumpur, which has a large Muslim population. Similarly, the AIADMK is relying on votes of Pillaimars and Vanniyars. AMMK, NTK and MNM candidates are also in the fray.

The battle seems to be largely between the two Dravidian alliances, but other players are confident of springing a surprise.

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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 10:28:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/tamil-nadu-assembly/lacking-in-development-dindigul-poses-a-test-for-minister/article34145351.ece

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