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Vaiko faces stiff challenge in Virudhunagar

By S Vijay Karthik
April 07, 2014 12:26 IST
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Known for its fireworks and printing units, Virudhunagar Lok Sabha constituency in southern Tamil Nadu is witnessing an absorbing battle of ballot in a five-cornered contest featuring among others Vaiko of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

A two-time MP, Vaiko, defeated in 2009 by a margin of 15,764 votes by Congress candidate Manicka Tagore, is hoping to turn the tide in his favour banking on his own popularity besides the "Modi wave", being a part of the BJP-led rainbow alliance.

A strong votary of Tamils cause, Vaiko is seeking a vote to make Narendra Modi the Prime Minister as well to ensure the voice of Tamils in Parliament.

He is pitted against ruling AIADMK's local leader D Radhakrishnan, Chairman of Sivakasi Panchayat Union.

Congress, going alone in this polls, has renominated Tagore for the seat which it had won in alliance with DMK.

Though no fireworks could be expected in the constituency, comprising Sivakasi, a major crackers manufacturing hub, the battle for votes could well be between MDMK, AIADMK and DMK though CPI-M also has entered the fray.

Caste factor is expected to play a key role in the outcome of the poll with Mukkulathors forming nearly one third of the electorate.

Scheduled Castes, and Nadars make up for the other major communities in the constituency, which has a large number of labour class being home to fireworks, match industry and off-set printing presses besides textile units.

Congress leaders are pinning hopes on Tagore, who is considered close to Rahul Gandhi, to make it a second in a row as their MP maintained good rapport with the electorate with regular visits to the constituency.


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S Vijay Karthik in Virudhunagar
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