ARIYALUR: BJP and PMK functionaries are desperately lobbying to get the Jayankondam assembly constituency as seat-sharing talks kicked off in the AIADMK-led alliance. However, the AIADMK, which is currently representing the constituency, is also eager to keep hold of it.
Jayankondam constituency falls under Ariyalur district and has the Vanniyar community in the majority. The late Vanniyar Sangam president J Guru earlier served as the MLA from this constituency (2011-16). The constituency has a total of 2,66,013 voters.
With the announcement of 10.5 percent internal reservation for the Vanniyar community, functionaries of the PMK are hopeful that they can get the constituency and easily win the election.
In the PMK camp, its state deputy general secretary TMT Thirumavalavan and state secretary of the Vanniyar Sangam K Vaithilingam are eyeing the constituency. Both of them are residents of the constituency and enjoy command over a considerable support base.
SP Kamaraj, the PMK’s social media wing state secretary, said, “In the 2016 elections when the PMK contested alone in this constituency, Guru came second with more than 50,000 votes. In the local body elections too, we won many councilor posts in this region. So, we have proved our vote bank. With the 10.5 percent reservation, the popularity of our party grows among the community, hence the constituency should be allotted to us.”
However, the BJP’s Ariyalur district president S K Iyyappan is also hopeful that the constituency would be allotted to the saffron party in the alliance. He also belongs to the Vanniyar community and was formerly with the Vanniyar Sangam.
BJP workers say they are expecting only one seat for their party in the districts of Ariyalur and Perambalur and are hoping it is Jayankondam. They have already started painting the party’s lotus symbol on the walls at several places. They argue that there are factions within the PMK camp in Jayankondam and there is no unity among them. Hence, the seat should be given to the BJP for a sure win.
It is also to be noted that the BJP and PMK locked horns several months ago when Iyyappan was enrolling PMK supporters into the saffron party.
Iyyappan said, “The BJP has already formed committees for all the booths in Jayankondam constituency. BJP has its branches in all the villages in the constituency. It was a herculean task. So if Jayankondam is allotted to us, we will surely win with the support of the alliance partners.”
On the other hand, AIADMK functionaries are also putting in efforts to retain the constituency. The AIADMK’s JKN Ramajeyalingam, who is currently the MLA of Jayankondam, is looking to get the ticket again.
Also, a few other functionaries from the party are trying to win the ticket for the constituency and submitted applications at the party’s headquarters. AIADMK functionaries also painted their two leaves symbol on the walls in villages leaving a blank space to write the candidate’s name.
An AIADMK functionary said “Why would we leave the constituency for others while we have a sitting MLA here. AIADMK won in the constituency in 2016 with a huge margin of over 23,000 votes. We will retain the constituency.”
Several AIADMK functionaries are camping in Chennai to ensure that Jayankondam is retained by the party.