COIMBATORE: Elections invariably throw up surprises. The upcoming Assembly polls are bound to spring a few in the industrial nerve centre of the State. Tired of running from pillar to post to find a platform to air grievances of MSMEs, an industry association has decided to enter the fray.
The Kovai Power Driven Pumps and Spares Manufacturers Association (KOPMA) will field its president K Maniraj in the Singanallur segment. The association also passed a resolution to support entrepreneurs who contest, and is canvassing among MSMEs to field candidates in all 10 constituencies in the district.
“We raised our issues of the raw-material price hike and banks refusing to sanction loans - with elected representatives, but none took them up with the State government,” Maniraj said.R Vadivelan, a pump manufacturer, said, “No party will back our candidates, but this doesn’t mean we won’t represent issues faced by the general public. The State’s failure to address our problems made us take the poll route.”
Reacting to the development, C Sivakumar, president, Coimbatore, Tirupur Districts Micro and Cottage Entrepreneurs Association (COTMA) said, “Employees have their own political affiliations. It would be challenging for an industrialist to contest as an Independent, and then to implement his poll promises.”
Maniraj, meanwhile, said he wouldn’t work just for MSMEs but for everyone in the constituency. “With help of banks, loan melas can be held to help people below the poverty line. Efforts will be taken to reduce water tax, build parks, install solar street lights etc,” he said.Speaking to Express, political commentator Raveendran Duraisamy said, “Entrepreneurs entering the poll fray would help highlight their issues with the government. But winnability is a challenge.”