The battle in Namakkal will be between the two major Dravidian parties, the AIADMK, which has fielded PR Sundaram and the DMK, which has given ticket to sitting MP Gandhiselvan.
The electorate in the district have thrown their weight behind the national party Congress and the Dravidian majors almost equally in the past elections. The Congress held the reins in Rasipuram (SC) constituency in the company of either DMK or AIADMK for a long time. With three Assembly segments, Rasipuram, Senthamangalam and Namakkal from the district forming part of the Lok Sabha constituency, the Congress candidates have won six times and Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) once and AIADMK twice since creation of the constituency. B Devarajan of Congress had the distinction of winning five consecutive polls to represent the constituency in Lok Sabha from 1977 to 1996. The constituency, which had Chinnasalem, Athur and Thalaivasal Assembly segments of Salem district also in its fold, has sent TMC’s Kanthasamy in 1996 and Rani of Congress in 2004.
AIADMK had won the seat twice when its candidate Dr V Saroja, a gyaenacologist, elected in 1998 and 1999. Two of the Assembly segments Thiruchengode and Kabilarmalai, besides Sankagiri which had a major share of voters in neighbouring Salem district, was attached with Thiruchengode Lok Sabha constituency which had sent great leaders like Dr P Subbarayan, of Kumaramangalam, to Parliament.
Spread over three districts including Salem and Erode, the voters elected an independent candidate Kanthasamy in the first elections held to the Lok Sabha. He won the polls in 1951 by defeating Dr Subbarayan of Congress. However, Subbarayan, who had held several posts including the Chief Ministership in the then Madras Presidency, recorded victory in the next two general elections in 1957 and 1962.
The 1967 polls witnessed the victory of DMK’s K Anbalagan in the constituency. Since then, both DMK and AIADMK won the elections in the constituency five times each and MDMK once. Namakkal constituency was created after delimitation.