Karuppiah’s local connect, cadre base gives tough challenge to Durai Vaiko in Tiruchy

The AIADMK has pitted P Karuppaiah, a native of Karambakkudi in the Pudukkottai district, against Vaiko.
Ex-minister Vijayabaskar campaigning for AIADMK’s Karuppaiah.
Ex-minister Vijayabaskar campaigning for AIADMK’s Karuppaiah.Photo | Express

TIRUCHY: Tiruchy constituency, which several parties within the DMK-led alliance vied to contest from in the upcoming Lok Sabha election believing victory would be a cakewalk, is now seeing a strong contender in the AIADMK, as its candidate’s local connect coupled with active campaigning by fellow cadre appear to give it an edge over its opponent.

After hectic parleys, the MDMK under the DMK-led alliance was allotted the constituency, following which it announced its leader Vaiko’s son and party principal secretary Durai Vaiko as a candidate. The AIADMK has pitted P Karuppaiah, a native of Karambakkudi in Pudukkottai district, against him. Karambakkudi is part of the Tiruchy parliamentary constituency.

The fieldwork put in by the AIADMK aside, Karuppaiah enjoys the support of former minister C Vijayabaskar. Most AIADMK leaders in Tiruchy, who were earlier part of separate factions, have also come together under the ‘Two Leaves’ symbol to canvass votes. Karuppaiah’s Kallar identity, the caste to which a significant population in the constituency belongs to, also enables him to enjoy wide connections, a source in Pudukkottai said.

K Thiruvengadam, an AIADMK functionary in Srirangam, said, “It is true that our party cadre Is enthusiastically canvassing for Karuppaiah. We are working together under Vijayabaskar. We will garner more votes in Tiruchy this time, especially in Srirangam. We will easily defeat Durai Vaiko. He is an outsider but our candidate hails from the constituency.”

Ex-minister Vijayabaskar campaigning for AIADMK’s Karuppaiah.
Congress's loss is MDMK's gain, party to field Durai Vaiko in Tiruchy

Sources said that the AIADMK is hopeful of securing a significant number of votes in the Gandarvakkottai and the Pudukkottai Assembly segments as those are part of Karuppaiah’s home turf. “Even a section of the grassroots workers from other alliances support Karuppaiah behind the scenes due to obvious reasons,” sources added.

Gandarvakkottai MLA M Chinnadurai of the CPM, however, said, “We will surely gain more votes in Pudukkottai, particularly in Karambakkudi. Our candidate will win by a huge margin.”

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