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AIADMK is sitting pretty

D. Karthikeyan

Sholavandan is one among the three segments PMK is contesting in south

MADURAI: Sholavandan constituency witnesses a contest between a seasoned political party in the southern districts, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, and Pattali Makkal Katchi which tries to open its account in the south.

Pattali Makkal Katchi, for long, has tried to shed its political tag as a party which has clout only in the northern districts and among the Vanniars.

This Assembly election has given it chance to be seen in the southern districts.

Sholavandan is one among the three constituencies that the PMK is contesting in the southern part.

After delimitation, Sholavandan has become a reserved constituency.

Prior to this election, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has won from here five times – in 1967, 71, 89, 96 and 2006; Congress in 1962, 1980 and 1984 and AIADMK has notched victory in 1977, 1991 and 2001. The constituency comes under Vadipatti taluk and Dindigul Lok Sabha constituency.


Agriculture is the major source of livelihood in this constituency and the major crops include paddy, coconut, betel leaves and banana. Sholavandan also has a few famous temples.

P. Mani (28) of Mullipallam says that the constituency does not have proper employment opportunities and both men and women have to go to Madurai for work.

Most of the agricultural labourers are seasonal workers and engage with the construction industry.

“There is no proper medical facility at the Government Hospital and we have to go to the Melakkal Primary Health Centre or to Government Rajaji Hospital, Madurai.” The are water scarcity and limited bus facilities. Usury is wreaking havoc in the lives of many lower middle class and working class people.

S. Eswaran (30) of Pettai says that the location of wine shops near the temple is a problem as most of the womenfolk find it tough to move around during festive seasons.

Arunthathiyar Dalits of Vaidyanathapuram complain that caste animosity and atrocities are prevalent both in the towns and villages.

They add that there is water scarcity and frequent power cuts.

T. Balakrishnapuram residents complain that there is no drainage facility or public toilet in the village.

The same problems are reported in Thatchambathu villager, apart from pest attack of betel leaf plantations.

M. Ilanchezian, PMK candidate for Sholavandan, says that the major demands of the voters in the constituency include a Government Arts College at Vadipatti; mango preservation and processing unit; higher secondary school at Muduvarpatti and proper pest control measures for betel leaf farming. All the other basic amenities have been provided earlier by the ruling DMK, he says.

Major problems

Major problems in the constituency include unemployment due to the closure of mills at Vilangudi; caste animosity; absence of drainage; usury; kangaroo courts, decline in ground water table; sand mining; drinking water scarcity; frequent power cuts and rowdyism.

Electioneering has been lacklusture due to the curbs of the Election Commission and a hot summer. The candidates have wound their way into the villages seeking votes.

The total number of candidates in the fray including the independents is 15; however the battle is between M. Illanchezhian (Pattali Makkal Katchi) and M.V. Karuppiah (AIADMK).

The total electorate in the constituency is 1, 73,893. There are 87,112 men and 86,781 women voters.

The number of polling stations is 210.

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