Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu, apr 12 UNI | 4 months ago

It would be battle between two veterans and several new faces in the Tiruppur Lok Sabha constituency in the April 24 polls.

Former Union Minister and Senior Congress leader E V K S Elangovan, who won the seat in 2004 when it was called Gobichettipalayam, was trying his luck this time again, banking on the secular agenda.

He was pitted against his 'best friend' and another former MP K Subbarayan of CPI, who was also a two time MLA.

Known as the hosiery town, the constituency was famous for spinning, dyeing, bleaching, handloom and powerloom units. The closure of dyeing units following zero discharge norms, coupled with drinking water problem and power cuts, casts a shadow on the outcome of the poll results.

The presence of Ms Sathyabhma of AIADMK, M Senthilnathan of DMK, Dinesh Kumar of DMDK and Chakravarty Rajagopalan of Aam Aadmi Party makes ita multi-cornered contest.

The constituency which has six assembly segments-- Gobichettipalayam, Perundurai, Andhiyur, Bhavani, Tiruppur North and Tiruppur South.

Tiruppur has a total electorate of 13,38,568 of which 6,59,332 were women.

Barring Tiruppur South, which was won by CPI(M) in the May 2011 Assembly polls, the remaining five segments were bagged by AIADMK, strengthening the chances of Sathyabhama.

However, Mr Elangovan, talking to UNI, sees it as a direct contest between him and the CPI candidate.

''I see it as a straight fight between me and my best friend Subbarayan'', Mr Elangovan said.

His campaign mantra was secular. He said he was seeking votes from the people for forming a secular government at the Centre, which would be provided only by the Congress.

Branding BJP as communal, he said the saffron party was trying to divide the nation on religious and caste lines, which in turn poses a threat to the country's integrity.

''People in the villages are aware of it. So I am projecting secularism as the main agenda during canvassing votes,'' Mr Elangovan said.

He agreed that the closure of dyeing units was a major issue as also power cuts and drinking water problems.

Stating that setting up of effluent treatment plants and transporting the treated wastes from the dyeing units straight into the sea was the only solution, Mr Elangovan said this project was in the Union Textile Minister's mind.

''It will be multi-crore project. But that's the only solution. My promise to the voters is that I have decided myself to see that this project comes through'', he says.

He said the NRGEA scheme of the Centre was also a bit hit among the rural people. ''To avoid middlemen and to ensure that the wages reach the beneficiaries directly, the money will be deposited directly in the banks in Tamil Nadu. This system will be implemented after the elections in the State'', he added.

Asserting that his chances were very bright in the polls, Mr Elangovan said people were aware that he was a non-controversial, straight and honest politician. ''During my 40 years in public life, I was never charged with any irregularities or corruption. This image gives me the edge'', he claims.

(Posted on 12-04-2014)