The multi-cornered contest in Mayiladuthurai is slightly tilted towards the AIADMK, as the farmers are appreciative of the party government’s efforts to solve the Cauery issue.The contest will see AIADMK candidate R K Bharathimohan take on contenders from MMK of the in DMK alliance, Congress and PMK.
During the 2009 elections, the AIADMK won the seat for the first time in the electoral history of the Lok Sabha seat.
The AIADMK holds a slight edge if the voting pattern of the 2011 Assembly elections are anything to go by. During the 2011 assembly elections, the AIADMK alliance won four out of six assembly segments in the constituency. AIADMK won three segments and it alliance DMDK won one segment.
As the constituency is spread from the centre of the Cauvery delta to its tail end at the mouth of Cauvery-Poompuhar, agriculture is the predominant industry here. Hence the resolution of Cauvery water issue through the constitution of Cauvery Management Board (CMB) remains an issue. Similarly fishing flourishes in the Poompuhar, Sirkazhi constituencies. As the present AIADMK government has succeeded in gazetting the final award of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, the farmers and farm workers hope that CMB would constituted if a government in which AIADMK would be a part assumed charge in the Centre.
This hope was manifested in the enthusiastic participation of huge crowds in public meetings addressed by AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa at Kalahasthinapuram.
Dalits constitute around 26 per cent of the electorate in the constituency. As farm workers, they are a major constituency of the AIADMK. Next to Dalits, Vanniyars are predominant in the constituency. Mani Shankar Aiyar is in the fray for the seventh time and may cut into the DMK alliance vote.
Though PMK has already announced its candidate for the constituency, the Vanniar votes may not be transferred enmasse to the party as the AIADMK candidate also happen to be a Vanniyar. Mayiladuthurai also has a significant Muslim population from Ayyampettai to Needur and beyond.