Ramadoss faces a tough fight in Dharmapuri

Facing tough opponents, it will not be a cake walk for the former Union health minister Anbumani Ramadoss of Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), who is contesting from Dharmapuri for the first time.

Though Ramadoss was elected to the Rajya Sabha, it is the first time that he is contesting the Lok Sabha polls.

Dharmapuri, which came into existence from 1965, is situated in the north western Corner of Tamil Nadu.

Though Ramadoss’ party,  has a strong vote bank and had won the Dharmapuri Lok Sabha seat for three times in 1998, 1999 and 2004 aligning with either the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), its main opponent and Congress candidate Rama Suganthan, son of the former Petroleum Minister and late Vazhapadi Ramamurthy, is giving him a tough fight.

PMK, for the first time, has gone into an electoral tie-up with the BJP-led rainbow alliance in which actor Vijayakanth’s Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) and Vaiko's Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) are also a part of it.

With Ramadoss banking on Vanniyars caste votes, Suganthan is targeting the young voters in the region by promising them employment guarantee projects. There are about two lakh first time voters here.

“If I am elected, bringing industries and employment generation will be my main job”, Sugunthan  said during a rally recently.  While the Dharmapuri seat comprises six Assembly constituencies such as Dharmapuri, Papireddipatti, Palacode, Pennagaram, Dharmapurii, Harur (Reserved) and Mettur (in neighbouring Salem district), the Vanniyars constitute more than 40 per cent of its population. There are about 20 per cent Dalits and about 15 per cent are Gounders.

“I will strive to bring this backward district to the top position in the state”, Ramadoss told Deccan Herald, who is going to the nook and corner of Dharmapuri to seek votes.
He also promises to generate employment for youths by bringing many industries in the district.

Meanwhile, sitting DMK MP Thamaraiselvan, a Vanniyar community leader, is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that his party retains the seat.

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