VILLUPURAM: Villupuram strongman K Ponmudi was forced to abandon his bastion and move to Tirukoilur, as his stronghold was allocated to DMK ally IUML. Ponmudi, former minister-cum-party district secretary, was the person who had made Villupuram the DMK’s stronghold since 1996. The story of Ponmudi’s downfall started when he fell out with his ardent supporter and former MLA Pushparaj. The two stopped seeing eye-to-eye when Pushparaj blamed Ponmudi after the former was not picked as the party candidate in the 2014 elections. He began working against Ponmudi and even organised protests against him. That year, the DMK lost to the AIADMK and suffered the lowest vote count ever in Villupuram constituency. Party general secretary then stripped Pushparaj off the district assistant secretary post and removed him from the party. Nearly a year later, he began involving in the party affairs again. Pushparaj is a native of Puthu Colony and enjoys huge support of his community there.
Fearing that this will harm Ponmudi’s winning chances, he was shifted to Tirukoilur constituency.