Puducherry

In agrarian Vikravandi, it’s a battle between equals

Battle lines have been drawn as Vikravandi Assembly constituency is all set to witness a triangular contest between the AIADMK, DMK and the Naam Tamilar Katchi.

Formed in 2008, the constituency has witnessed two Assembly polls so far. But, the constituency is headed for a byelection for the first time following the demise of DMK’s K. Rathamani.

The constituency consists of Vanniyars, Dalits, religious minorities and caste equations, like in other constituencies in Villupuram district, play a significant role in the final outcome here.

It is going to be a fight between the AIADMK the DMK in the bypoll slated for October 21. While the DMK has fielded N. Pugazhenthi, treasurer of the party’s Villupuram central district unit, the AIADMK has chosen M.R. Muthamizhselvan.

Both the candidates bank on the influence of their respective local chieftains, Law Minister C.Ve. Shanmugam and DMK’s former Minister K. Ponmudi.

Vanniyars constitute over 30% of the electorate in the constituency prompting both the AIADMK and the DMK to field Mr. Muthamizhselvan and Mr. Pugazhenthi.

In the constituency, both the parties are on an equal footing and the community votes are likely to be split between them. Much ahead of the poll, Mr. Shanmugam concentrated on the constituency by implementing various welfare schemes estimated at ₹50 crore.

On the other hand, the DMK is concentrating on youth power and has been showing keen interest in enrolling as many youth as possible into the party fold.

The Naam Tamilar Katchi has fielded K. Kandasamy.

The constituency is predominantly agrarian and the agricultural sector is ridden with problems. Paddy is the major crop and farmers have been reeling under acute shortage of water for irrigation. The construction of a check dam across the Pambai river in Kaanai block has been a long-pending demand of farmers.

The construction of a flyover on the Tiruchi-Chennai National Highway at Vikravandi has been another demand of the residents for the last eight years.

“A large number of residents cross the stretch to reach the Taluk office. The absence of a limited-use subway or a flyover has been the major cause of accidents on this stretch,” said A. Siva, a resident of Anniyur.

History

Of the 11 Assembly constituencies in Villupuram district, the DMK won seven (including Vikravandi) leaving the AIADMK with four segments in the 2016 elections.

Before delimitation of the constituencies, Vikravandi formed part of the Kandamangalam (Reserved) segment. In the 2011 elections, the first one after delimitation, Ramamurthy of the CPI (M) won the seat beating K. Rathamani of the DMK by a margin of 14,897 votes. In the 2016 elections, K. Rathamani defeated his nearest AIADMK rival R. Velu by a margin of 6,912 votes.


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Printable version | Jun 13, 2021 8:44:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/in-agrarian-vikravandi-its-a-battle-between-equals/article29630639.ece

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