Tamil Nadu Assembly elections 2021: Constituency Watch

Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections | Stage set for a tough battle in Cuddalore

The stage is set for an intense battle in Cuddalore between Industries Minister M.C. Sampath of the AIADMK and G. Iyappan of the DMK. The Amma Makkal Munnettra Kazhagam (AMMK) is also in the fray.

Mr. Sampath is aiming for a hat-trick. In 2011, he won by 33,678 votes, and in 2016, the margin dipped to 24,413 votes.

The AIADMK breached the DMK bastion thrice — in 1977, 2011 and 2016. The DMK has won in seven of the 15 elections held since 1952.

An analysis of the vote share since 2011 reveals a dip for both parties. From 60.56% in 2011, when Mr. Sampath defeated E. Pugazhendi of the DMK, the AIADMK’s vote share went down to 41.07% in 2016. The DMK’s vote share dropped from 36.83% in 2011 to 26.93% in 2016.

There is always an undercurrent of caste tension in the coastal town. How the caste equations will play out this time remains to be seen.

Factional fights in the AIADMK’s district unit and possible anti-incumbency are expected to affect the party’s chances to some extent. Cuddalore remains a backward area, residents say, and Mr. Sampath has not added to the town’s infrastructure in his two consecutive terms as Minister.

One of the major problems is pollution. There has been no improvement in the water quality in the SIPCOT area. Cuddalore is a water-stressed town and the continuous release of untreated effluents has caused irreparable damage to the ecology, says T. Arul Selvam of SIPCOT Area Community Environmental Monitors (SACEM).

“The infrastructure is woefully inadequate and no development is visible during the past 10 years of AIADMK rule. Be it education, industrial pollution or even roads, there has been no work,” says Mr. Iyappan, the DMK candidate.

“The Cuddalore port project was activated when I was the MLA. However, the port’s expansion and creation of fish landing facilities have been put on the back-burner,” he says.


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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 10:45:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/tamil-nadu-assembly/stage-set-for-a-tough-battle-in-cuddalore/article34180216.ece

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