Campaign Ends in Vikravandi

Chennai: The 20-day high voltage campaign for the July 10 by-election to the Vikravandi Assembly seat in Villupuram district came to an end on Monday evening with top leaders of all the three major parties in race, the ruling DMK, the PMK and the Naam Tamizhar Katchi, going around the constituency seeking the support of the people raising different issues.

Officials swung into action to ensure that outsiders left the constituency, where polling will take place from 7 am to 6 pm on Wednesday when the fate of 29 candidates in the fray will be decided by the 2,34,624 strong electorate, and no campaign related work was carried out after the deadline.

State Youth Affairs Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin, PMK president Anbumani Ramadoss and NTK chief coordinator were in the field canvassing votes for their candidates, Anniyur Siva, C Anbumani and Abinaya, who are key contestants among the list of 29 candidates.

While the DMK was highlighting its achievements in the past three years and what benefits Villupuram district and Vikravandi constituency had accrued from them, the PMK was accusing the DMK of providing an inefficient government and depriving the Vanniyar community of its reservation benefits, while the NTK was urging the people to usher in a change.

All three parties were targeting the supporters of the AIADMK, which is boycotting the polls, with the DMK telling them that the PMK was in an alliance with the BJP and that voting for it would be allowing the BJP sneak in and the PMK and NTK invoking the traditional rivalry between the AIADMK and DMK and telling them that the DMK was their common enemy.

So the PMK leaders and campaigners want the AIADMK supporters to support their candidate Anbumani and teach a lesson to the DMK and NTK seeking their votes to bring in a political change by putting down both the ruling DMK and the BJP alliance, both of whom were against the Tamil people.

The DMK has come out with its long list of scheme that have benefited the people like the Rs 1000 as monthly assistance to housewives, through which 3,49,257 families in the constituency have benefitted, 9,488 women getting Rs 1000 a months under the Pudhumai Penn scheme for government school students joining courses of higher education and 1,43,033 elders receiving pension to the tune of Rs 314.67 crore.

Also the DMK gave details of the waiver of SHG loans to the tune of Rs 24.43 crore to 16,128 women in Vikravandi constituency, the government settling the grievances of 1,24,356 persons under the Chief Minister’s Address scheme, making available funds to start new business in the constituency through the release of Rss 1,388.67 crore loan and 10,651 primary school students being provide free breakfast in schools under the Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme.

With all the government schemes having benefited a wide range of people, the DMK was having an upper hand in the elections when the opposition parties, the PMK and NTK, tried to make political capital out of the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy and the murder of State BSP leader Armstrong in Chennai.

However, the crowds that thronged the roads when Udhaynidhi Stalin visited the constituency for campaigning in the last two days was proof of the DMK’s popularity remaining intact. For, the party had started its outreach programmes quite early in the constituency, where the by-election was caused by the death of its member N Puzhalenthi.

The election commission officials have made all arrangements for the smooth conduct of the polls and also the counting of votes that will take place at the Government Higher Secondary School at Panayapuram near Villupuram on July 13.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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