SIVAGANGA: The poll bugle has been sounded. The rumblings of the election machines can be heard in the distance as they slowly approach the 18 constituencies. Manamadurai too is abuzz with activity. In this SC reserved constituency, a three-cornered fight is brewing.
While AMMK is fielding the disqualified MLA of Manamadurai, S Mariappankennady, AIADMK’s choice is S Nagarajan. DMK has put its money on Kasilingam alias Elakiyadasan to see it through. Mariappankennady has proven credentials but Nagarajan and Elakiyadasan are both new faces.
When Manamadurai went to polls in 2016, a 71.33 per cent polling was recorded. The then AIADMK candidate, Mariappankennady, emerged winner with a tally of 89,893 votes. However, Mariappankennady had to relinquish the post after disqualification for joining the rebels, who have come together under the banner of AMMK.
While DMK functionaries are upbeat over their chances this time around, the confidence is largely pegged on complexion of the alliance forged by the AIADMK. On team AIADMK are BJP and PMK — both regarded as non-secular by a cross-section of politicos. The DMK hopes people will see through their gimmick and oust them based on their reportedly divisive and sectarian outlook. Given that the constituency is a reserved one, DMK again is counting on the SC votes to come to it. The principal Opposition hopes that this time around in will breach the AIADMK bastion.
However, AIADMK too is not short on confidence. They take heart from the fact that it has won from here three times in a row. For them, winning even the Lok Sabha seat from the region was a testimony to AIADMK’s prowess. AIADMK’s Gunasekaran won from the constituency in 2006 and 2011 elections; Mariappankennady made his mark in 2016.