After MGR, city non-Tamils feel neglected by DMK and AIADMK

Harbour and Egmore constituencies have a good population of Rajasthanis and community participation in the past 2 elections have increased.

Chennai: Non-Tamils from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Punjab who have settled in Chennai for more than 40 years, feel the Dravidian majors have neglected them for the past 15 years when it comes to active politics. The May 16 Assembly polls are not a big deal for some of them. However, the Rajasthan Youth Association is not giving up and has been campaigning in Central Chennai — Your vote is your strength.

“We are making it compulsory among the community to participate in the polls and our youngsters are advised to avail themselves of voter identity cards once they are 18”, said Sanjay Bansali, association former president.

Harbour and Egmore constituencies have a good population of Rajasthanis and community participation in the past two elections have increased. “With more than two lakh members in our community, we will insist everyone to vote in the ensuing polls,” added Bansali.

“Tamil Nadu is now a home for 12 lakh people from Rajasthan, but there is no proper political representation for them in the state,” says former two-time MLA S.D. Ugamchand, a popular politician during MGR days. Ugamchand, a resident of Madurantakam constituency, is also a state-level office-bearer in DMK minority wing. Both DMK and AIADMK are no longer giving due importance that the non- Tamil speaking communities deserve.

Tamils living in north Indian states are recognised. Maharashtra has a Tamilian minister and Uttar Pradesh has few MLAs with their roots in Tamil Nadu, but things have changed in Tamil Nadu after MGR. “We can influence the poll results in at least 50 constituencies”, emphasised the former legislator.

“I was a big fan of MGR and would watch his movies. He was a popular leader even among non-Tamils. I have not seen such a charismatic leader beyond vote bank politics,” said a 64-year-old Devendra Kumar Golechha. “Nobody is much interested in politics as they are busy with their daily routine. After MGR, there is none who has the mass appeal among our community,” he said.

“There are nearly 1,500 Punjabi families settled in Tamil Nadu for decades. We are a silent community in Tamil Nadu and the State is a peace-loving State. So we don't feel there is a political link required for Punjabis settled in Tamil Nadu,” said Mandeep Singh, a resident of south Chennai.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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