He had fought hard with his party to get a ticket from his home turf Thanjavur, the rice bowl of Tamil Nadu, now former Union transport minister T R Baalu has no other option but to win to prove his worth.
Baalu, close associate of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president M Karunanidhi, incurred the wrath of sitting MP S S Palanimanickam. Palanimanikam was denied ticket from the seat by the party high command, despite several requests, due to Baalu’s influence.
Baalu’s attempt to shift from the Sriperumbudur Lok Sabha constituency to Thanjavur has created controversy among certain DMK leaders and Palanimanickam's supporters here. Baalu's car was recently attacked by a group of people, believed to be supporters of the sitting MP.
The constituency was reconstituted in the last Lok Sabha election, and at present consists of the Assembly constituencies of Thanjavur, Thiruvaiyaru, Orathanadu, Pattukottai, Peravurani and Mannargudi.
With not receiving “better” support from local leaders of the constituency after Palanimanickam's ouster, Baalu is feeling the heat, and is banking on infrastructure projects like the Thanjavur-Tiruchirappalli four-lane highway and a few of road over-bridges and under-bridges under Central schemes.
“This my native place. I know what people here require. Everything will be fulfilled,” said Baalu at a public meeting in Thanjavur.
In this delta district, paddy is the biggest agriculture commodity. It has a large number of sugarcane and coconut farmers too.
On the Cauvery river issue with Karnataka, the farmers feel that none of the MPs from their constituency had ensured the full release of Cauvery water from the neighbouring state. V Sathyanarayana, president of Tamil Nadu Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association, told Deccan Herald whoever is elected should ensure setting up of the Cauvery River Management Board to secure the rights of the state.
“He (the elected candidate) should also talk about the issues of farmers in Parliament.”
With both the DMK and the AIADMK unwilling to tie up with the Congress and the CPM, and the national parties have fielded their candidates, which would certainly impact the two Dravidian parties .