Cong nominee has personal manifesto

Jothimani aims to break the three-decade domination of DMK, AIADMK

Cong nominee has personal manifesto

A woman Congress candidate releasing her separate manifesto for her constituency, perhaps a unique occurrence, is expected to pose a challenge for her uncle and the opposition DMK candidate M Chinnasamy, and also to the sitting MP and AIADMK contestant M Thambidurai in the textile belt of Karur.

Launching her “right-based” poll campaign, P Jothimani, national secretary of All India Mahila Congress, is targeting youth and women at the zonal level.

Of the 14 Lok Sabha polls held in this constituency, the Congress had won six times (1957, 1962, 1971, 1977, 1980 and 1984), and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam  (AIADMK) five times (1989, 1991, 1998, 1999 and 2009), while candidates of the Swatantra Party, the Tamil Maanila Congress and the DMK were elected in 1967, 1996 and 2006, respectively.

Banking on youth power, 38-year-old Jothimani would be aiming to break the three-decade domination of Dravidian majors AIADMK and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) in the April 24 General Elections.

Taking her campaign to the next level by extensively using the social media space, Jothimani is also eyeing women voters, who outnumbered men. She is confident of becoming the first Congress member to win the seat after 1984.

Speaking about her campaign style, Jothimani said, “Right-based campaign is basically an attempt to educate women and farmers on their rights, especially to Centrally sponsored schemes like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, besides training panchayat presidents to ensure that the funds allotted for the schemes reach the real beneficiaries.”

Jothimani said she would also launch a “know your candidate” campaign, involving the youths, to know about what people expect from her and to remove any ill-will against the Congress party.

However, DMK candidate Chinnasamy, seen by the people as a “down-to-earth” man, dismissed any threat from his niece (Jothimani) and Thambidurai, who had won from the seat in 1989, 1998 and 2009.

Chinnasamy, former state minister and two-time AIADMK MLA, had quit the party and joined the DMK prior to the 2011 Assembly election in Tamil Nadu. He had won from the Karur Lok Sabha seat in 1999 as an AIADMK nominee.

Chinnasamy, contesting for the first time on a DMK ticket, said, “My rapport with the people of his constituency will tilt the scales in my favour.”

On the other hand, Thambidurai is banking on the charisma of party supremo and Chief Minister J Jayalalitha and her various welfare schemes.

The Karur district is key in its economical status due to its flourishing industrial activity through textile and dyeing units. It brings in nearly Rs 1,400 crore of foreign money, and has a marketing gravity of Rs 2,350 crore per annum.

However, the present and foremost issue is the closure of dyeing units due to non-compliance to installing zero-discharge effluent treatment plants, as it has rendered more than 2.5 lakh people jobless, resulting in foreign exchange earnings taking a huge hit.

Of the total 12.7 lakh voters in Karur, 6.4 lakh are women and 6.3 lakh men. 

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