Vedaranyam (Tamil nadu), May 14: Having fielded a three-time former DMK MLA as its candidate here, BJP is pinning its hopes on this coastal constituency, where the 'salt satyagraha' was held during the freedom struggle, to make entry in Tamil Nadu Assembly in the May 16 election.
BJP has fielded S K Vedarathinam , a popular businessman of this town, who joined the party last year after resigning from DMK and is confident he would help the lotus bloom.
A major salt producing centre in Nagapattinam District, Vedaranyam has its place in the country's freedom struggle as it was here that C Rajagopalachari in 1930 staged the 'salt sathyagraha', south's equivalent of Dandi march undertaken by Mahatma Gandhi against imposition of tax on salt by the British. [Tamil Nadu: Opinion polls 2016]
Besides its vast salt pans, the town, located about 350 kms from Chennai, is also known for prawn cultivation and fishing.
It is witnessing a multi-cornered fight involving Vedarathinam, ruling AIADMK's O S Manian, Congress candidate P V Rajendiran, DMDK nominee Vairanathan and PMK's Usha Kannan.
Three-time MLA Vedarathinam will look to reverse the 2011 result
Vedarathinam, who scored a hat-trick of wins from the constituency from 1996 as a DMK nominee, lost to AIADMK's N V Kamaraj in the 2011 poll.
A businessman, Vedarathinam is popularly known as "SK" among the locals. He was a strongman of DMK and got elected to the Assembly in 1996, 2001 and 2006 from Vedaranyam.
He joined the BJP last year and has got the party ticket to try his luck for a fifth time.
The AIADMK has dropped Kamaraj, giving a second chance to Manian who lost to Vedarathinam in 2006.
The Congress, which is contesting the polls in alliance with DMK, has nominated P V Rajendran, an industrialist.