AIADMK faces tough challenge

AIADMK faces tough challenge

The AIADMK may have wrested Chennai from the DMK stronghold in 2 previous elections, but flood and drinking water crisis have now put the ruling party in a spot.

The AIADMK has fielded its bigwigs with Social Welfare Minister B Valarmathi fighting it out in Thousand Lights, Handloom Minister Gokula Indira in Anna Nagar, former speaker D Jayakumar in Royapuram and party chief Jayalalithaa herself contesting in R K Nagar.

Riding on Jayalalithaa’s popular schemes, the AIADMK cadres are now working overtime burning the midnight oil to counter DMK’s anti-government campaign, which also accuses ruling party for doing little towards city development.

Though the AIADMK’s freebies such as mixer grinder and electric fan reached to most of the people in the metro city, the electorates could not forget the flood that devastated almost all the constituencies.

“Though I got financial assistance of Rs 5,000, it is not enough since our family lost all household articles worth more than a lakh,” Keerthivasan, from Anakapurhur in Palavaram constituency, which was severely affected in the December flood, told DH.

Many flood affected people felt that the government could have compensated the stranded families with an amount that was proportionate to the losses suffered. Chennai, which comprises 16 constituencies, has about 40 lakh voters with women voters outnumbering men in more than 10 of the total Assembly constituencies in the city. In Chennai alone, there are more than a lakh first time voters, who also are likely to play a critical role in this elections.  “We feel there should be an alternative government other than the AIADMK and the DMK and therefore I will not caste my vote to these two parties,” Sruthi, a final year B.Com student and a first time voter said. With the view to woo female voters, both the AIADMK and the DMK have nominated many women candidates in Chennai.

Political analysts indicated that it would be difficult for other parties including Vijayakanth’s DMDK-PWF sans the AIADMK and the DMK to attain even 10% of the vote share.  The DMK is leaving no stone unturned in fielding its star candidates including party chief M Karunanidhi’s son M K Stalin, who is seeking re-election in Kolathur constituency in the city.  People Studies Multidisciplinary Research Institute said that corruption, alcohol consumption, poor drinking water facilities, lack of electricity and unemployment were the major issues based on which the people are likely to cast their vote. With the AIADMK yet to release its poll manifesto, and going by the current scenario, it will be a tough fight between the 2 major Dravidian parties in Chennai.

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