All Eyes on Ramadoss' Strategy in Arakkonam
The Arakkonam constituency, with its mixed demography spread across various sectors from agriculture to industries, is all set to test the mettle of the AIADMK, DMK, Congress and the uncertain NDA alliance in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. The Vanniyar dominant constituency came into existence in 1977.
Following the delimitation exercise in 2008, Katpadi was carved out of Arakkonam constituency and Cheyyar was attached to the newly-formed Arni constituency. However, the reconstitution of the constituency has not changed the equation in caste the dynamics of the electorate.
Arakkonam constituency has six assembly segments - five from Vellore district and one from Tiruvallur district - with a total electorate of 13,66,875. Of these six constituencies, three are with the ruling AIADMK, two with its estranged alliance partner DMDK, and one with the DMK.
While the Vanniyar community accounts for 24 to 27 percent of the electorate in this constituency, Adi Dravidars comprise 24 per cent of the voters, albeit scattered, and the Mudaliyars around 15 per cent. Ranipet and Arcot have a good percentage of Muslim voters.
Keen to retain its stronghold, which they lost to DMK candidate S Jagathrakshagan in the 2009 election, the PMK has fielded former Union Minister of State for Railways R Velu again. However, it is going to be a tug-of-war between the AIADMK and the PMK (if it’s in the NDA), while the DMK candidate will be pushed to the third place, opined several voters. “If the PMK goes it alone, then it will be a cakewalk for the AIADMK,” said Ramu, a sexagenarian from Sholinghur.