Egmore: Political battles overshadow civic issues

To view map, see: http://bl.ocks.org/d/b945adb8f414e2ea93c939ae348733d1

Egmore, a reserved constituency, has had DMK MLAs since 1967 except in two assembly elections. In 1980, Congress came to power here, and DMDK was elected in 2011. This constituency has always disappointed the AIADMK. There is an influential section of voters belonging to minority communities and North Indians in this constituency.

Egmore is known for its old landmark buildings, busy railway hub, and automobile spare parts market.It also has the largest cluster of slum tenements in the city. The constituency  comprises Dr.Besant Nagar, Thattankulam, Choolai, Park Town, Purasawalkam, Gangadeeswarar Koil, Kilpauk South, Anbazhagan Nagar, Perumalpet , Kannappar Nagar, Dr.Ambedkar Nagar, Chetpet, Egmore, and Pudupet. There are 1,90,949 voters in the constituency.

Candidates Independent Candidates
Parithi Ellamvazhuthi E.  (AIADMK)

Ravichandran K.S. (DMK)

Venkatesan M. (BJP)

Rajendran A. (PMK)

Prabhu T. (DMDK)

Ezhilarasan I. (BSP)

Ashoka A. (SHS)

Kubendran S. (Makkalatchi Katchi)

Chandrakala J (Jan Shakti Dal)

Venkatachalam V. (YSP)

Jayalakshmi I. (Naam Tamilar Katchi)

Arun Kumar A.

Gunasekar N.

Selvam I.

Dhatchayani M.

Nagarajan M.

Balasundaram M.

Prasath S.

Mukunthan J

Rajasekar S.

Jayaraj S.

Know your candidates

Past elections give a glimpse of the perilous political games played out here. In the 2001 Assembly Elections, John Pandian of Tamizhaga Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (in alliance with AIADMK) lost to DMK candidate Parithi Ellamvazhuthi by just 86 votes. Mr. Pandian was arrested for an armed attack on Ellamvazhuthi on polling day. After the AIADMK came to power in the 2001 elections, Ellamvazhuthi was arrested on charges for attempt to murder on complaints registered by AIADMK’s polling booth agent. Mr. Pandian was later arrested in a murder case and served jail sentence.

Incumbent MLA: K. Nallathambi (DMDK) 

In 2011, K. Nallathambi of the DMDK (in alliance with AIADMK) defeated DMK’s four-time MLA Parithi Ellamvazhuthi by a margin of 202 votes. He was among the six DMDK MLAs suspended from the Assembly in 2013 for allegedly attacking DMDK MLA from Radhapuram S. Michael Rayappan,.

Candidates

Parithi Ellamvazhuthi (AIADMK)

Paruthi Ellamvaruthi left the DMK due to differences with M.K. Stalin and joined the AIADMK in 2013. He will contest from Egmore which he had represented from 1989 to 2011. The fact that he had scored about half of the total votes in every election since 1984 points to his strong support base in the constituency.

K.S. Ravichandran (DMK)

DMK has fielded advocate K. S. Ravichandran who is new to assembly polls.He is a lawyer and  has recently moved to Egmore. The anti-Dalit stance of BJP on many issues may have an impact on the party’s performance in this reserved constituency.

Prabhu (DMDK)

DMDK has fielded its Central Chennai Deputy Secretary T. Prabhu  in Egmore. According to sources, the sitting MLA K. Nallathambi who defeated senior leader Parithi Ellamvazhuthi refused to contest again, citing poor financial situations. 

2011 Results

Candidate Party Votes Status
K Nallathambi DMDK 51772 Won
Parithi Ellamvazhuthi DMK 51570 Lost
N S Kumaravadivel BJP 4911 Lost
R Sundaramurthi IJK 1132 Lost
D Sureshbabu BSP 669 Lost

Key issues

Despite being the seat of the Corporation Office, the residents of the constituency complain of erratic supply of drinking water and electricity, poor sanitation and traffic congestion. Residents from many areas including Pulianthope and Periamet demand uninterrupted supply of drinking water and electricity.

Sanitation is another main concern for residents from many localities in the constituency.“The Cooum river is filthy and garbage has piled up on both sides. Garbage is dumped and burnt along the blanks,” says M. Murugan

Traffic congestion and haphazard parking of vehicles along the Purasawalkam High Road, a busy shopping area, is another issue that irks the residents. Housing and access to job opportunities and basic facilities remain the main concerns of residents of slums. Echoing the concerns of slum-dwellers in many other constituencies, S. Selvi says “Despite the job opportunities available  in the city, we are struggling to make both ends meet.” She asks, “If we move to Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board houses, which are far from the city, will they ensure that we get jobs?”

“Building violations and expansion of commercial establishments into residential areas are issues that need regular monitoring. Unregulated commercial activities add to the pollution, traffic congestion, and availability of water and electricity. Political parties and government officials are hand-in-gloves with the offenders,” says a resident from Egmore who wished to remain anonymous. Building violations have been reported in many parts including Purasawalkam and Egmore.

Voting history

Madras State

Year Winner Party
1957 Anbazhagan
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
1962 Jothi Venkatachalam Indian National Congress
1967 A. V. P. Asaithambi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam

Tamil Nadu

Assembly Duration Winner Party
Fifth 1971-77 Arangannal Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
Sixth 1977-80 S. Manimudi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
Seventh 1980-84 L. Ellayaperumal Indian National Congress (Indira)
Eighth 1984-89 S. Balan Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
Ninth 1989-91 Parithi Ellamvazhuthi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
Tenth 1991-96 Parithi Ellamvazhuthi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
Eleventh 1996-01 Parithi Ellamvazhuthi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
Twelfth 2001-06 Parithi Ellamvazhuthi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
Thirteenth 2006-11 Parithi Ellamvazhuthi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
Fourteenth 2011-Incumbent K. Nalla Thambi Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam
About Nileena MS 0 Articles
Nileena is an alumnus of Asian College of Journalism, Chennai. She has a deep and abiding interest in civic and development issues. Nileena can be reached at nileenams@gmail.com

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