Chennai, April 5 (IANS) Tamil Nadu’s picturesque Theni Lok Sabha constituency is set to witness an interesting poll battle with two experienced politicians and debutants fighting it out.
The two politicians are Congress leader E.V.K.S. Elangovan and Thanga Tamil Selvan of the AMMK, while the electoral debutants are P. Raveendranath Kumar, son of AIADMK Coordination and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, and S. Radhakrishan from Kamal Haasan’s MNM party.
While Thanga Tamil Selvan is part of the AMMK floated by T.T.V. Dhinakaran, he will be termed as an Independent candidate as per a Supreme Court order.
A total of 30 candidates are in the fray seeking votes from 15,32,240 voters (male 758,557, female 773,506, others 177).
“The issues placed before the people by me are mainly related to water-drinking and irrigation, banning neutrino project, rail connectivity for Theni and others,” Radhakrishnan told IANS.
“Theni is the only district in Tamil Nadu not connected by rail.”
Alleging the use of money by big rival candidates, Radhakrishnan said: “The money they are spending to buy votes can be used to provide rail connectivity to the district.”
The people in the Theni constituency are mainly involved in agriculture. The belt is famous for coconuts and grapes, Radhakrishnan added.
Radhakrishnan said the issues of the constituency is mainly water disputes, adding that he would fight to increase the water storage level of the Mullaperiyar Dam to 152 ft which would solve the water problem in the constituency.
“We are opposed to the neutrino project. Projects that are rejected in other states are being dumped in Tamil Nadu,” he added.
The other water related issue is the desilting of the Vaigai Dam to improve the storage capacity.
According to Thanga Tamil Selvan, the response from the voters for his candidature is very good and he is confident of a victory.
He said the poll symbol “gift pack” is easy to remember for the people and also easy for him to canvass.
He had earlier represented the Andipatti Assembly constituency as a member of the AIADMK. He was later disqualified by Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P. Dhanapal for anti-party activities after he extended his support to Dhinakaran.
On his part, AIADMK’s Kumar promises broad gauge rail link between Madurai-Bodi, road network, tourism promotion and promotion of sports.
The constituency has voters belonging to Mukkulathor, Dalits, Naidus and others.
According to Radhakrishnan, first time voters will be between 100,000 to 200,000.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, R. Parthipan of the AIADMK won the Theni seat.