In the textile constituency of Erode which is witnessing a six-cornered contest, the sitting MP and MDMK candidate A Ganesamurthy is the lone known face to voters.
The other candidates S Selvakumara Chinnaiyan (AIADMK), Pavithravalli (DMK), P Gobi (Cong), Sethupathy (BSP) and Kumarasamy (AAP) are new to the poll arena.
The segment comprises Erode East, West, Modakurichi in Erode district, Dharapuram and Kangayam in Tiruppur district, besides Komarapalayam in Namakkal district.
Among the 6 segments, Erode East, West and Komarapalayam are urban areas, Modakurichi is a fertile area of the Lower Bhavani Project (LBP) ayacut. Dharapuram and Kangayam are drought prone areas having LBP ayacut in some areas.
The segment is famous for textile, turmeric, copra and edible oil production. Ganesamurthy was the DMK district secretary of the composite Coimbatore district in 1984 and was elected to assembly from Modakurichi as a DMK member. When Vaiko formed the MDMK, he walked with him and became its district secretary in 1993. He was elected to Parliament from Palani constituency. A BA graduate, he was detained under POTA for 555 days in 2002 and won from Erode in 2009 polls defeating former minister EVKS Elangovan (Congress) by a margin of nearly 5,0000 votes. He is trying his luck again.
Selvakumara Chinnaiyan, the AIADMK is a a lawyer is the party’s Erode district lawyers’ wing secretary. Pavithravalli, an MBA graduate is a member of DMK. Gobi, an MA graduate, is a textile businessman from Tirupur and Kumarasamy is an engineer and Sethupathy is a retired IT officer.
The constituency was formed before the 2004 polls after delimitation exercise. Before that, it was in the name of Tiruchengodu which elected SN Ramasamy (Independent) in 1951, P Subbarayan (Congress) in 1957 and 1962, K Anbazhagan (DMK) in 1967, M Muthusamy (DMK) in 1971, R Kolandaivelu (AIADMK) in 1977, M Kandasamy (DMK) in 1980, P Kannan (AIADMK) in 1984, KC Palanisamy (AIADMK) in 1989, KS Soundaram (AIADMK) 1991, KP Ramalingam (DMK) in 1996, K Palanisamy (AIADMK) in 1998, M Kannapan (MDMK) in 1999, and Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan (DMK) in 2004.
Lack of basic infrastructure, long pending Erode-Palani rail project, industrial pollution in Cauvery, many problems of textile sector, inadequate price for turmeric and copra, drought conditions, water scarcity and lack of major industries are the main problems of the segment.