Tamil Nadu: VCK facing a litmus test in Chidambaram LS constituency

TN: VCK facing a litmus test
Chidambaram (TN), April 10: In a constituency, where caste factor plays a decisive factor, pro-Dalit outfit Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi is facing an acid test to retain Chidambaram (SC) seat amid challenge by ruling AIADMK and PMK to upset its apple cart in the April 24 polls.

The temple town of Chidambaram, which is home to the ancient Nataraja Temple and Annamalai University, one of the oldest universities in the state, has displayed largely a support base of DMK, which is indicative of the poll trend in the last four Lok Sabha elections.

VCK's founder Thirumavalavan is seeking second successive term from this constituency and banking on the support of Dalits and his party's major ally M Karunanidhi-led DMK. S Ramadoss-led PMK, which enjoys vast clout among Vanniyars, who also constitute a sizeable section of electorate in this reserved constituency, suffered a major jolt when electoral authorities rejected the nomination of its candiate K I Manirathnam, a last minute defector from Congress.

However, V Sudha, wife of Manirathnam, who had filed her candidature as 'dummy' candidate, has now become the official contestant of PMK, which is part of the six-party BJP-led grand alliance.

Despite setback on its failure to field Manirathnam, who is known among people for his philanthropic activities, PMK still hopes that Sudha would fare well with the support of BJP allies and egging on its own support base.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK, which has been fighting the election on an aggressive note eyeing to win all 39 seats in the state is making all efforts to ensure the victory of M Chandrakasi.

AIADMK hopes to wrest this constituency from VCK as the electorate would lean towards the party on the basis of the state government's performance.


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