Pollachi : With its sitting MP P K Sugumar embroiled in the cash for letter controversy, AIADMK is moving heaven and earth to retain Pollachi Lok Sabha seat by fielding a new face, where arch rival DMK and KMDK are also going all out to hoist their flag.
Sensing the anger of the electorate against Sugumar in the constituency which witnessed display of posters titled "missing MP" AIADMK denied him renomination and fielded Mahendran.
Sugumar, who won the seat by a margin of 46,000 votes, came in for flak after he was caught in a controversy for allegedly accepting cash for issuing recommendation letters and has earned the wrath of voters who are sore over his "visiting professor" like visit to the constituency.
The constituency is all set to witness a multi-corner contest in April 24 voting involving C Mahendran (AIADMK), N Palanisamy (DMK) who is also its district Secretary, E R Eswaran (KMDK) whose party is part of BJP led alliance and K Selvaraj of Congress.
Pollachi, a perennial drought battered part of Tamil Nadu has a total electorate of 13.35 lakh spread across six assembly segments, where the women electorate outnumber men.
The long pending demand of coconut growers for Coconut Development and Research Board and a similar organisation for Coir Development, continues to remain unrealised even today, according to locals, who blame the elected representatives for failure to establish these institutions.
The Gounder community has sizeable population followed by Telugu Chettiars and Naickers and these sections have capacity to tilt the scale of victory in favour of any candidate.
The entry of T Srinivasan of People`s Movement of India (PMI), a body formed by farmers and agriculturists in the region, has made the contest a curious one.
Failure to implement irrigation projects, particularly Parambikulam Aliyar Project affecting agriculture and also poor compensation for loss of coconut trees due to drought and attack of Eriophyd are the major issues confronting candidates and political parties.
KMK candidate `Best` Ramasamy had polled over one lakh votes in 2009, nearly 10 per cent of the total votes, which proved it is a force to reckon with.
However, KMK split vertically and horizontally and a splinter group KMDK joined BJP alliance in this election.
Palanisamy of DMK was brimming with confidence and banking on the development works he implemented when he was minister in the DMK government.
Star campaigners like Jayalalithaa for AIADMK, M Karunanidhi for DMK and Vijayakanth for NDA have already campaigned in the constituency, which has assembly segments of Valparai, Thondamuthur,Kinathukadavu , Pollachi, Udualpet and Madathukulam.