Chennai: The demise of Jayalalithaa is a big blow for the congested labour dominated north Chennai comprising R K Nagar constituency. In the past 18 months, North Chennai had got projects worth over Rs 300 crore with R K Nagar receiving the lion’s share and now the locality has lost its VVIP constituency status. “In the past two elections, including a by-poll, the constituency elected Amma by a huge margin and as on date the party does not have a towering personality matching the charisma of Amma and this will certainly be a setback for us,” said Poonga Nagar Selvam, a functionary in north Chennai.
Amma’s absence will also affect us in the ensuing local body polls, as she was everything for the party, added Selvam. More than one LEDs have come up in north and Central Chennai streets. Of this, R K Nagar was the first constituency to have 100 per cent LED coverage. After last year December deluge roads were developed at a cost of Rs 16 crore. And during the tenure of Jayalalithaa as R K Nagar MLA, a new arts college, ITI centre and a tahsildar office were constructed, the official added.
“Power fluctuation, enhancement of drinking water supply and construction of new storm water drains came up in the past 18 months”, said a former AIADMK councillor pointing out that all six wards of the corporation in R K Nagar had an additional allotment of conservancy workers.
RK Nagar voters miss their Amma:
People of R K Nagar constituency, which J. Jayalalithaa represented for 18 months, are still trying to come to terms with her death, and strongly believe that no one can replace her. Residents of areas under the constituency display myriad emotions — of grief, of moving on, and some are outright furious — at the secrecy maintained over 78 days until her death on December 5.
“Why was there so much secrecy? Who knows what she was given and when she died. I believe she was poisoned. We have all rights to know about our minister, whom we voted to power,” rued Durga Devi of Amman Kovil Street. “She ruled our state, and her body was kept for public viewing only for a few hours, why so? When MGR died, it was kept for over a day. Even when she was at the hospital, no one ever knew what exactly was going on,” she added. For many, the grief of her passing away was similar to that of losing a parent.
“When she died, the pain was similar to what I felt when my mother passed away. For us, she was everything. Politicians can know that we are not going to elect anyone else in her place. Others focus on making money, she looked after children like she was their own mother,” Durga Devi said breaking down. With a number of schools, hospitals, and Amma Unavagams being present in the areas at Tondiarpet, residents were more than happy with her governance.
Baagya Aayamma recounts how she started watching the movies of J. Jayalalithaa starting from her film ‘Chandrodhayam’ and how beautiful the actress was when she started acting in films. “Wherever her movie was playing, I used to go watch. She died too soon,” she added. “We all have voted for AIADMK since we can remember. First, it was MGR, and then it was Amma.” Many said that they couldn’t eat food after they learned of her death. After a hiatus of two days, M. Malliga resumed making murukku and tea at her eatery.
“Men respected her and feared her. We have always been safe under her governance with girls being able to step out without fear,” said Malliga as she poured oil into the pan. “No woman stands in politics with so much commitment because they have families and kids to take care of. But she didn’t have any children apart from us, and no family. No leader can ever match up to her. She has done so much for us,” she continued.
How constituency benefited by electing Jayalalithaa:
Government Arts and Science College at a cost of Rs 8 crore.
Industrial Training Institute:
The ITI, with the required infrastructure established in Arunachal Easwaran Koil Street in RK Nagar constituency at a cost of Rs 7 crore. A new tahsildar office inaugurated on Rettai Kuzhi street in 2015. A long pending demand of local residents.
More than 10,000 LED streetlights:
Fifteen grounds of southern railway land promoted as a park by Chennai corporation. Similarly, Slum Clearance Board handed over a 6-acre property to corporation for developing a new park at Bharat Nagar.
The Korukkupet railway overbridge sanctioned in 2007 at a cost of `16.66 crore completed in 2015.
Drinking water pipeline work:
The pipeline restoration work that was pending for the past three years was completed last year at a cost of Rs 16 crore....