DMK misses Raja in his backyard Perambalur, AIADMK jubilant

He may be cooling his heels in Delhi`s Tihar Jail for his alleged involvement in the 2G scam, but the developmental work and the projects he executed in this reserved constituency are the main plank of the ruling DMK.

Last Updated: Apr 05, 2011, 11:57 AM IST

Perambalur (TN): He may be cooling his
heels in Delhi`s Tihar Jail for his alleged involvement in the
2G scam, but the developmental work and the projects he
executed in this reserved constituency are the main plank of
the ruling DMK, which is facing a tough competition from
arch-rival AIADMK.

However, the multi-crore 2G spectrum scam, which the
CAG estimated had caused a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the
country`s exchequer, seems to have no impact at least in this
constituency, which was nurtured by Raja over years after he
became Perambalur MP in 1996. Perambalur adjoins
Tiruchirappalli district.

Though a few educated and well-off people in
Perambalur spoke about the 2G scam and its implications,
people in rural areas like Velur, Raja`s native place, say
they had no clue of what the scam was and how much money did
the country lost.

People fondly remember Raja as a "good and humble"
person who executed a number of development projects and
brought several educational institutions to the district,
which has never seen such facilities. He shifted to Nilgiris
seat in 2009 after Perambalur became de-reserved in the
delimitation exercise.

There is talk that Raja is being sidelined by the DMK
but the party has nominated his loyalist M Prabhakaran as the
candidate, who is seeking votes on the plank of developmental
works implemented by the former telecom minister.

With Raja not in the scene and DMK stalwarts like M
Karunanidhi and MK Stalin giving a miss to campaigning in
this district, AIADMK workers are jubilant and feel that
campaigning by their chief J Jayalalithaa and DMDK president
Vijayakant would put them in an advantageous position.

DMK`s main poll plank seems to be the pet schemes of
its government like free colour television sets, rice at Re 1
per kg and free houses and the "good work" done by Raja.

The party, which was initially hit by dissidence when
Prabhakaran was chosen, has now set its house in order with
all leaders, including the sitting MLA and others, campaigning
for the party nominee.

The AIADMK cadres feel the 2G scam and the
"anti-incumbency" wave against the DMK government will help
them wrest the seat from the ruling DMK, which has been
winning the seat since 1996.

Several people said they have not
yet decided their preference and will do it only when they go
to the polling both. Local journalists say the current mood in
the constituency looks like "pro-AIADMK" but things could
change.

One common complaint the villagers and people in
Perambalur town is the frequent power cuts and rising prices.

PTI