Tainted astrologer enters battlefield on BJP ticket

Sakthi Muneeswaran, was arrested last September for allegedly cheating an elderly widow of a chain under the pretext of doing pooja to appease her deceased husband's soul.
BJP candidate, Sakthi Muneeswaran. (File photo)
BJP candidate, Sakthi Muneeswaran. (File photo)

A controversial astrologer, accused in a cheating case, is contesting from ward 15 of Vilathikulam town panchayat on a BJP ticket.

The 15th ward of Vilathikulam town panchayat, having an odd-850 voters, is significant for the urban body elections as AIADMK's Vilathikulam East union secretary's wife Pandiammal, DMK's Subburaj, and an independent candidate Manthiramuthu are in the fray. It is reserved for SC (General).

The BJP candidate, Sakthi Muneeswaran, who practices astrology and sorcery, was arrested last September for allegedly cheating an elderly widow of a chain under the pretext of doing pooja to appease her deceased husband's soul. He was later remanded in jail for 14 days. Sources said he also lends money for interest.

Meanwhile, Sakthi told TNIE the complaints against him are a result of personal dispute over money transactions. "I am contesting in the ward for the fourth time and am quite confident of winning this time," he said.

Muneeswaran said even after several police complaints, the public came forward and helped him build a small temple. "If my reputation is bad, the people would not have supported me," he said adding people know he is innocent and will elect him.

The astrologer said initially he was planning to contest the elections independently, but later BJP functionaries extended their support even though he do not have primary membership of the party.
When asked, Thoothukudi North district President Ramamurthy told TNIE he did not inquire about his background since there was less time for preparing the candidate list.

The astrologer said he has promised voters that he would ensure every child goes to school as he had seen many children working in the ward.

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