Puducherry Assembly Elections | A crucial test for the AIADMK in Oupalam constituency

Four-time legislator Anbalagan is pitted against DMK’s Anibal Kennedy

Updated - April 01, 2021 02:45 am IST

Published - April 01, 2021 02:36 am IST - PUDUCHERRY

It is one of the crucial electoral battles for four-time legislator and AIADMK secretary (East) A. Anbalagan at Oupalam constituency.

A win for the AIADMK leader this time would mean he would be in the league of select political leaders in the Union Territory who have consecutively won five elections from the same constituency.

Among the other leaders, who retained the same Assembly segment for years are the present Member of Parliament V. Vaithilingam and former Ministers Malladi Krishna Rao and E. Valsaraj.

However, AINRC chief N. Rangasamy had won the maximum number of times, with four wins from Thattanchavady and two from Indira Nagar constituency.

He is once again facing DMK nominee Anibal Kennedy from the constituency in the April 6 poll.

Thin margin

In the last election, he defeated Mr. Kennedy by a thin margin of 903 votes.

Mr. Anbalagan made his electoral debut in 2001 from the constituency facing Pandian of Puducherry Munnetra Congress. He won the seat with a margin of around 3,000 votes.

In the next two elections, he retained the seat by maintaining the lead he got in the first election.

His supporters are seeking votes in the constituency highlighting his achievements and the issues that he had raised in the Assembly sessions during the last five years.

They highlighted his speeches where he spoke against the Congress government and also against the previous Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi when it came to protecting the rights of the Union Territory.

Mr. Anbalagan’s campaign is centered on the charisma of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and he is also pitching for N. R Congress chief N. Rangasamy as the Chief Minister post-election. The party is in alliance with AINRC, BJP and PMK for the election.

The rival DMK camp, meanwhile, has made it a point to highlight the AIADMK’s alliance with BJP, considering the presence of huge number of minority votes.

They are also frequently pointing to the lack of development in the area.

The constituency has a sizeable presence of Christian and Muslim voters and electors from the fishermen community.

“One of the main demands for the people of the region was to provide better hygienic environment in the constituency. A large number of people reside on the banks of Uppar canal which is choked with solid waste and silt. The annual maintenance of the canal was not enough to clear the drain. A proper plan should be evolved to clear the canal of solid waste completely,” said Francis of Dubrayapet.

Mosquito menace

The canal was constructed during the French time and till about 45 years ago, the drain used to be cleaned regularly, he said.

“Now the foul smell emanating from the canal is unbearable,” he rued.

Mosquito menace is another issue. Studies conducted by the Health Department had in the past confirmed the presence of armigeres mosquito species. These mosquitoes do not transmit any disease, but their bites can be painful.

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