Alliance, Caste Equations Hold the Key in Vellore

In Vellore, alliance arithmatic with a dash of caste politics have determined who would represent it in Parliament.

Published: 18th March 2014 08:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th March 2014 08:44 AM   |  A+A-

In Vellore, alliance arithmatic with a dash of caste politics have determined who would represent it in Parliament. Since 1951, eight Congress, four from DMK, two from PMK, one AIADMK, an Independent and two IUML nomineess have been elected from Vellore. The constituency, which was reserved till 1971, became general from 1977.

The constituency has an evenly distributed Mudaliar, Muslim, Vanniyar and SC population in all the six Assembly segments of Vellore, Anaikattu, Kilvaithinankuppam, Ambur, Vaniyambadi and the reserved constituencies of Gudiyattam and KV Kuppam. Most candidates who won the seat with a decent margin were Mudaliars or Muslims or Vanniyars. No major incidents of caste rivalry, group clashes and communal disharmony have been reported in the constituency. There is a huge population engaged in farm activities in the northern parts of the district along the Palar belt while an equal percentage of in the leather units, beedi-rolling and weaving activities, are spread across the entire constituency.

The constituency has elected candidates - not necessarily locals - based on the alliance factor and has opted for stability at the Centre. Some of the major local issues of long-standing nature such as tannery pollution, water scarcity caused by drying up of Palar river, the lifeline of the district, though at times dominated the campaign scenario, have never influenced the voting pattern.

Sitting MP Abdul Rahman, a non-local, and a senior member of Indian Union Muslim League, an alliance party of the DMK, is contesting for the second consecutive term while his party is on a hat-trick here. He contested on a DMK ticket in 2009 and defeated his nearest AIADMK rival L K M B Vasu by a margin of 10,000-plus votes. The Assembly segments of Ambur and Vaniyambadi dominated by Muslims and educated SC communities helped the IUML retain the seat.

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