CHENNAI: Mylapore constituency may see a tough battle this time. AIADMK has won the segment thrice since 2006, and six out of ten times since 1977.
DMK has not won the seat for past 15 years. Before that, in 2001, BJP, which then was in the DMK alliance, won from here.
With that victory in hand, BJP fought hard for this seat. But, the ruling party felt that giving it away to the saffron party may polarise the voters, as the segment has a sizeable chunk of Muslim population and fishermen.
Therefore, AIADMK retained it. After years this time, both the Dravidian majors will face-off directly in Mylapore.
While the DMK got 49.6 per cent votes here during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the AIADMK-BJP combine secured 28 per cent.
This is due to the performance of Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), which polled a decent 12.5 per cent votes (18,722) in the constituency.
The DMK’s vote bank remained intact during the LS polls but the MNM had clearly eroded the AIADMK’s vote bank in Mylapore.
This time, MNM has fielded yesteryear actor Sripriya (65) in Mylapore, and AIADMK may face a tough challenge to push itself past the finish line.
DMK candidate ‘Mylai’ T Velu (50), who has been given the task to reclaim the constituency from AIADMK said the figures from 2019 LS polls showed the difference in voting patterns.
“The problem here previously was that the voters from the non-brahmin sections were not consolidated. In this election, it has been consolidated well under the secular alliance,” said Velu, pointing out that the DMK was received well even by the brahmin communities and claimed that they may also vote differently as AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa is no more.
He said being a resident in the locality, he has served the party for close to three decades and that he has an understanding of the people’s issues.
The Marina loop road eviction issue, water woes, garbage clearance are some of the key issues. I have also promised the fisherfolk here to address their issues once DMK is voted to power, added Velu.
On the other hand, retired IPS officer and incumbent MLA R Nataraj (70), who has been re-nominated, banks on the good will and his performance in the past five years, notably during the pandemic.
Nataraj, who won by a margin of close to 15,000 votes in 2016, during his campaign here, said that every day, at least 10,000 people in the constituency were given after afternoon meals.
“We have also restored the dilapidated community halls here and promised to build alternative housings for the damaged slum board structures,” he said.
Due to the announcement of the CM, the AIADMK will get a massive victory, added Nataraj.
However, certain sections from the fishermen community from the Foreshore Estate have reasons to be not happy with the AIADMK candidate as he allegedly did not voice against the Marina Beach beautification drive which would lead to the eviction of fishermen selling fish along the Loop Road.