Tough battle ahead for Vaiko in Virudhunagar

Tough battle ahead for Vaiko in Virudhunagar

Caste factor will play a major role in deciding the fate of MDMK chief Vaiko, who faces a tough battle in the Virudhunagar Lok Sabha constituency which has given the state three chief ministers, the late Kamaraj and MGR, and O Panneerselvam, who is now the Finance Minister.

Vaiko, who lost in 2009 to Congress’ B Manicka Tagore by 15,764 votes, is hoping to win this time with the support of BJP-led NDA. The two-time MP, Vaiko, is contesting for the fifth time.   

He is facing a tough competition from a confident Manicka Tagore, who is seeking re-election. Other candidates in the fray in the constituency, which has a total electorate of 14,23,360, including 7,18,746 women, are P Radhakrishnan (AIADMK), who is the chairman of the Sivakasi Panchayat Union, S Rathinavelu (DMK) and K Samuel Raj (CPM).

Virudhunagar comprises the Assembly segments of Virudhunagar, Sivakasi, Aruppukottai, Sattur and Tirupparankundram and Tirumangalam (in Madurai district).

Caste equations will play an important role, where dominant Mukkulathors form around 30 percent of the total electorate, followed by Telugu-speaking Naickers, Gavara, Kamma and Kambalathar communities, besides substantial presence of the Scheduled Caste.

While Vaiko is banking on the strength of the NDA and the Narendra Modi wave, Tagore sounded confident of entering the Lok Sabha for a second term based on his achievements and the resounding success of the Congress-led UPA’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

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