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Lok Sabha Polls: Winning may not be an uphill task for Kanimozhi in Thoothukudi

Environmental concerns over the copper smelter plant and the apprehension of fishermen by Sri Lankan authorities are also among the numerous issues in this constituency.
Last Updated : 17 April 2024, 06:55 IST
Last Updated : 17 April 2024, 06:55 IST

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Thoothukudi (Tamil Nadu): The presence of a medical doctor, managing director of a bone and joint treatment centre and a DMK leader seeking re-election makes the contest in Thoothukudi Lok Sabha constituency a keenly watched one.

Environmental concerns over the copper smelter plant and the apprehension of fishermen by Sri Lankan authorities are also among the numerous issues in this constituency.

Though DMK deputy general secretary Kanimozhi, seeking re-election, is making a hectic bid to build public ire against the BJP government, her contenders accuse the DMK of not reaching out to all the families affected by the devastating floods in December 2023.

A section of the public too feel they have not received any succour from the state government when they were marooned.

"I did not receive any help from the government after I lost my house and also my livelihood to the floods. So, I may think twice before voting for the DMK," says Pakiamma, a daily wage earner, from Thoothukudi, which is also known as Tuticorin or Pearl City.

The devastating floods had crippled life and affected agriculture and industries. And to make matters worse, power supply could not be restored in many areas for several days.

"The Thoothukudi Corporation areas would not have been affected by the floods had the drainage and stormwater drains been functional," NTK's central district secretary Velraj told this correspondent.

Velraj, who campaigns for his party candidate Rowena Ruth Jane blames both the Dravadian parties that alternately ruled the state for failing to address the issue.

Jane, a doctor by profession, has assured to take steps to provide housing for the poor in the constituency.

R Sivasamy Velumani, the AIADMK candidate, who runs the Puttur Bone and Joint fracture treatment centre in Chennai, and TMC candidate S D R Vijayaseelan contesting with the support of the BJP, are also in the fray.

Likening the April 19 general elections as a "second freedom struggle," Kanimozhi has appealed to the people to prevent a "dictatorial" government from coming to power.

"Don’t think it is too hot to step out of your house. Perform your democratic duty and save the nation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi should not return to power. But if you remain at home the accident will happen. If it happens, then this will be our last election. Thereafter dictatorial government alone will remain," she says.

"So, keep in mind that this election is our second freedom struggle and discharge your duties accordingly. Also, ensure those in other states too vote against the BJP," she urges.

Kanimozhi made a debut in the 2019 Lok Sabha election and won by trouncing her rival and BJP candidate Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan, who has now relocated to Chennai South constituency after giving up her position as Governor.

Winning the election may not be an uphill task for Kanimozhi as the AIADMK, TMC and NTK contestants are not so strong contenders.

The constituency has been sending AIADMK and DMK members to the Parliament in the past.

The constituency comprises six Assembly segments- Vilathikulam, Thoothukudi, Tiruchendur, Srivaikuntam, Ottapidaram and Kovilpatti. Of the six, DMK and allies won from five constituencies in the 2021 Assembly elections while AIADMK managed to win from Kovilpatti.

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Published 17 April 2024, 06:55 IST

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