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Tightrope walk expected for DMK in Sriperumbudur

PTI | Last Updated: Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 12:29

Chennai: It could be a tightrope walk for the DMK in Sriperumbudur Lok Sabha constituency, considered the "Detroit" of India due to presence of global auto majors, as it pitted against the six party BJP-led NDA alliance in the April 24 poll.

Though the Dravidian party has won here a whopping eight times since 1996, barring once in 1998 when AIADMK bagged it, formation of the alliance and DMK nominating former Union Minister S Jagathrakshakan to contest from the constituency is expected to result in a keen contest.

DMK leader A Krishnaswamy has been the consecutive winner in later elections and in 2009, T R Baalu won the seat.

However with several developments he made as Chairman of Railway Standing Committee in and around Thanjavur, DMK nominated him to contest the polls from that city and alloted Jagathrakshakan to Sriperumbudur.
What could work in favour of Jagathrakshakan is DMK`s dominance in this constituency. However the fact this is his maiden contest from here, coupled with having to take on the BJP rainbow alliance could make it a tightrope walk for DMK.

Notable names among 39 candidates in the fray besides Jagathrakshakan, who emerged victorious in the Rajya Sabha elections from Arakonnam, are AIADMK`s K N Ramachandran, Congress candidate and former MLA Arul Anbarasu, AAP nominee and journalist Vasigaran and Dr R Masilamani from MDMK, part of the BJP-led alliance.

Sriperumbudur has witnessed a dramatic change, from
being underdeveloped to attaining near urban status with many multinationals setting up shop, including Korean auto major Hyundai`s two units, troubled handset maker Nokia` world`s biggest facility and French float glass manufacturer Saint Gobain.

The constituency is well known for Rajiv Gandhi memorial, built after the former Prime Minister`s assassination here, a temple constructed in the birthplace of the saint Sri Ramanujar and is the constituency where the proposed second greenfield Chennai airport is to come up.

Comprising Maduravoyal, Ambattur, Alandur, parts of Pallavaram, and Tambaram, it has about 16 lakh electorate.

Some pressing issues plaguing Sriperumbudur include setting up of hospitals, provision of a long pending demand for a railway link from Avadi, lack of adequate power supply and establishment of foot overbridges.

AAP candidate Vaseegaran said basic issues have to be addressed as there have been no developments like provision of basic sanitation and drinking water supply.

"With several multinationals in the vicinity, real estate is growing tremendously. But if you ask if there is adequate water and power supply, the answer is no. Another long pending demand is setting up a railway link to Sriperumbudur from Avadi. People have been forced to depend on various mode of transport to reach their destinations" he told PTI.
Vaseegaran said power shortage was not specific just to Sriperumbudur but to entire Tamil Nadu. While large companies have managed to fend for themselves with captive power supply, small and medium enterprises were hardest hit. "There are nearly two lakh working class people here", he said.

First Published: Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 12:29
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