Coimbatore

Month-long election campaign comes to an end in districts

Cadres and candidates concluded the campaign for the Assembly elections to be held on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: PERIASAMY M

Drum beats ended and speakers fell silent as the gruelling month-long campaign for the 2021 Assembly election came to an end on Sunday 7 p.m., ahead of polling on April 6.

Municipal Administration Minister and Thondamuthur AIADMK candidate S.P. Velumani ended his campaign at Kuniamuthur. BJP’s Vanathi Srinivasan ended her’s at Six Corner, near Tatabad, MNM’s Kamal Haasan at Kembatty Colony, and Congress’ Mayura S. Jayakumar, accompanied by Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao, ended his campaign at Puliakulam.

The month-long campaign began on a slow pace as parties in political alliances were busy finalising seat-sharing while racing against the deadline for filing nominations. The highlight of this election in Coimbatore was Mr. Haasan throwing his hat into the ring from Coimbatore South.

What was otherwise perceived to be a direct contest between the AIADMK-led NDA and DMK-led SPA turned into a triangular contest with his entry. His early morning walks and interactions with people in the constituency garnered as much media and social media attention as did his campaigns.

Thondamuthur was another constituency that saw a lot of political noise as the DMK fielded its environment wing leader Karthikeya Sivasenapathy to take on incumbent Mr. Velumani. Criticisms and counter-criticisms, name calling and retaliation queered the election pitch.

This election also saw contestants actively straddle the election ground and social media platform, which they used to not only update their supporters on their campaign schedule and with speeches but also expose the opponents.

A few contestants also asked the public to reach out to them through social media to stop voters being bribed.

As for star campaigners, Coimbatore had its share as actors and celebrities from across the political spectrum descended in the district. AIADMK and BJP, however, roped in many of those to woo voters.

This election in Coimbatore also saw the Election Commission of India shift the District Election Officer-cum Collector, City Police Commissioner and Coimbatore Rural Superintendent of Police.

In this election, people were also witness to a few officials getting suspended for dereliction of duty.

Mudslinging, minor clashes, and cash and liquor seizures also were a part of this election campaign as did personal attacks on the lives of contestants or their party leaders.

Tiruppur

The last day of election campaigning at the eight Assembly constituencies in Tiruppur was largely incident-free as the candidates reached out to the voters one last time before the polls.

Speaking at his closing campaign in Dharapuram, BJP State president and Dharapuram (Reserved) constituency candidate L. Murugan exhorted the party cadre to work tirelessly over the next two days to ensure the victory of the AIADMK-BJP alliance.

“For the next two days, we should have no rest and no sleep,” he said. He also alleged that the DMK is synonymous with “commission” and “land grabbing” and that they must not be allowed to return to power.

Udhagamandalam

Candidates contesting in Udhagamandalam Assembly constituency were out in full force in the town canvassing for votes on Sunday.

R. Ganesh, the sitting MLA and Congress candidate who is contesting the seat this time, took out a rally in the town. M. Bhojarajan, the BJP candidate who is expected to be his main rival, also hit the town alongside his supporters, and visited shops and met people within the town. Mr. Bhojarajan earlier celebrated his birthday on Sunday by cutting a cake with party workers.

Makkal Needhi Maiam candidate, S. Suresh Babu and the AMMK’s T. Lakshmanan canvassed for votes within town, particularly along Commercial Road.

In Coonoor, the DMK’s K. Ramachandran campaigned in Attadi, and Solada Mattam, before he took out a procession in the town. The AIADMK candidate, D. Vinoth, campaigned in Kotagiri in the morning and in Coonoor town in the evening.

Police said that security was tightened across the Nilgiris to prevent untoward incidents and added that no instances of political violence were reported.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 11:10:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/month-long-election-campaign-comes-to-an-end-in-districts/article34239869.ece

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