The entry of Congress into the poll fray in Vellore is expected to change the political equation, while largely benefiting the DMK combine.
The Congress announced the candidature of Vijay Ilanchazhiyan (32) from Vaniyambadi, who is also the acting State president of Youth Congress from Vellore for the first time. He is from Agamugdiyar Mudaliyar community and wields considerable influence in Vaniyambadi and Ambur.
Vijay had contested in the 2011 assembly elections from Ambur but lost to Aslam Basha of Manithaneya Makkal Katchi. While AIADMK has already fielded a Mudaliyar candidate, P Senguttuvan, the DMK combine has fielded IUML candidate Abdul Rahman who is also the sitting MP from this constituency. As the constituency has high presence of Mudaliyars, Muslims, Vanniyars and Dalits, the two Mudailyar candidates are likely to split the traditional Mudaliyar vote bank.
“This will be an added advantage for the IUML candidate,” said a DMK poll strategist. While the traditional Congress voters may not like to vote for DMK, they would support their party candidate and not AIADMK, he felt. However, DMK may have a small setback in Vaniyambadi and Ambur as Muslims in this region may opt to vote for the Congress, thus impacting the vote margin of IUML candidate, said Bharath Naveen Kumar, a Congress leader.
The situation would become more complex if BJP also jumped into the fray. Former Vellore MP, A C Shanmugam’s name is also doing rounds here as a possible candidate. In that case, it is going to be a nail-biting finish in the election as both the Mudaliyar candidates could damage both DMK and AIADMK prospects. Given the fact that the constituency has the highest presence of first time voters in the age group of 18-19 who would be more interested in participating in the election process this time, the vote margin of the winning candidate would be reduced, he added.