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District secretaries at loggerheads in Pudukottai

Syed Muthahar Saqaf



Periannan Arasu



P.Muthukumaran


PUDUKOTTAI: The Pudukottai Assembly constituency is witnessing a tough battle between the youthful district secretaries of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Periannan Arasu and the Communist Party of India (CPI) P. Muthukumaran.

Mr. Periannan Arasu who is in the fray for the second time here, lost to AIADMK's C. Vijayabaskar in the 2001 elections, this is the maiden attempt for thirty eight-year-old Mr. Muthukumaran, hailing from Neduvasal village.

The constituency remained a Congress stronghold in the initial years and since 1996 it has returned candidates of the Dravidian parties. The Congress won the seat five times, Congress (old) once, DMK thrice and the AIADMK twice. Pudukottai is one among the two seats allotted to the CPI in the central districts.

The CPI was eyeing for the Alangudi constituency, from where its candidate was returned to the Assembly in 2006. Instead it was allotted the Pudukottai seat. This is the third time, the CPI is fielding its man here. K. R. Subbiah, veteran CPI leader, lost twice here in 1980 and 1984 elections.

The AIADMK was initially upset at the allotment of this seat, which elected AIADMK nominees in the last two elections, to the CPI.

Both the candidates are popular among the voters. Mr. Periannan Arasu's father late A. Perinnan was a veteran DMK leader and had also served as the district secretary of the party. Late Periannan was elected to the Assembly from Pudukottai seat twice in 1989 and 1996.

Mr. Muthukumaran has established close rapport with the locals by organising various campaigns highlighting public issues.

The failure of the Pudukottai Municipal council to deliver the goods in the last five years, is proving a major handicap to the DMK led front in this constituency. The indifferent attitude of the DMK and a group of Congress councillors towards the people's problems is affecting the chances of the DMK candidate here, a cross section of the town voters point out.

The failure of the Municipality to complete the underground drainage scheme even after three and a half years despite people raising hue and cry time and again; acute scarcity of drinking water problem in major parts of the town; poor street lighting facility; poor performance of the civic body in the health and hygiene front are some of the major issues raised by the AIADMK front to corner the DMK.

The DMK cadre assure steps for the overall development of the district in all fronts. Thrust will be given for the establishment of more industries and also for the setting of the government medical college, already sanctioned to the district, at the earliest in the town. They highlight the setting up of a BHEL unit at Tirumayam in the district, as a major achievement of the Centre and the state government. Mr. Periannan Arasu also has assured steps for bringing government engineering college and government agricultural college.

The CPI candidate is highlighting the failure of the government to develop this backward district on the industrial and educational fronts. He has assured steps for the execution of Cauvery – Kundar linking project for providing assured irrigation facility for Pudukottai and also stabilising power supply. P. Selvam of BJP, Srinivasan of IJK are also in the fray along with five other independents.

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