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Which way will voters of sex scandal-hit Pollachi go?

Monday - April 15, 2019 8:14 pm , Category : INDIA
Chennai, April 15 (IANS) In the wake of recent sex scandal in Pollachi, the question many are asking here is "which way the Pollachi Lok Sabha constituency voters will go on April 18", though the reply to this question is unlikely to come only on May 23.
The picturesque town of Pollachi, part of Coimbatore district, had hit the national headlines some months back when what is called the Pollachi sexual abuse-cum-blackmail incident blew up.
The Pollachi Lok Sabha seat is currently held by AIADMK's C. Mahendran and he is in the fray tis time also.
Also in the fray are DMK's K. Shanmugasundaram, R. Mookambika of MNM party floated by actor-politician Kamal Haasan and 11 others.
People belonging to Gounder community are the dominant segment in the constituency and the others are Dalits, Naickers and Chettiars.
"There is simmering anger in the hearts of people owing to the sordid episode that marred the town's name. The Pollachi issue will surely have an impact on the voting pattern," Mookambika told IANS.
"Even very old village women ask me whether I would be able to do something with regard to the sexual abuse issue. I can sense it is there in the hearts of the people of this town," she said.
According to her, the other major issue faced by the people are water problem -- drinking and irrigation.
Mookambika said there seems to be a change in the people's attitude in the last couple of days.
"Earlier in some parts of the constituency those who said they have water problem have now changed their tone saying they do not have any issue. I am not sure how and why they changed their stance suddenly," Mookambika said.
On the other hand, AIAMDK spokesperson Avadi Kumar citing the questioning of the Congress leader and summoning of the son of a DMK official in Pollachi by the police said the sexual abuse issue will not have impact on his party candidate.
"People are seeing this and there will not be any negative impact on AIADMK or its allies due to the episode," he said.
Locals in Pollachi told IANS that Mahendran has good name in the constituency and it will be to his advantage.
The AIADMK is fighting the elections with a mega alliance comprising PMK, DMDK, BJP, PT, TMC and others.
DMK spokesperson T.K.S. Elangovan told IANS that the sexual abuse issue is an advantage for DMK.
"The tilting point will be the expelled AIADMK leader T.T.V. Dinakaran's AMMK candidate and how much of AIADMK votes he will be able to attract," Elangovan said.
The DMK has Congress, CPI, CPI-M, IUML and the VCK, among others, as its allies.
The AMMK has fielded S. Muthukumar.
In 2014, AIADMK's Mahendran had won the seat polling about 4.17 lakh votes. His margin of victory against his nearest rival from Kongunadu Makkal Desiya Katchi (KMDK) was about 1.40 lakh votes. The DMK had come third.
Last time the polling percentage was 73.31 out of 13.81 lakh voters.
The Pollachi seat has about 15 lakh voters (male 7.36 lakh, female 7.63 lakh and third gender 160).
Interestingly, the females outnumber the male voters in Pollachi.
"Initially I thought there will be many first-time female voters. But later I found many of them have not registered themselves," a disappointed Mookambika said.
The Pollachi Lok Sabha seat consists of six Assembly seats -- Thondamuthur, Kinathukadavu, Pollachi, Valparai, Udumalpet and Madathukulam.

--IANS vj/nir

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