WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India
Apr 17, 2019, 02.13 PM
As Tamil Nadu heads to polls in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections on Thursday all eyes are on Sivaganga, a parliament seat in South Tamil Nadu held by P Chidambaram seven times since 1984.
Chidambaram's son and Congress nominee Karti will face triangular contest from BJP national secretary H Raja and the candidate of TTV Dhinakaran's Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) here.
In one of the keenly watched constituencies in the state both the Congress and BJP bank on their Dravidian allies' organisational strength to win the seat. DMK and AIADMK have alliance with Congress and BJP respectively.
The 47-year old Karti, who is facing corruption cases, is currently on bail. He has been maintaining that the cases were politically motivated.
On the other hand, Raja is perceived as accessible and well known.
AMMK has aligned with the Social Democratic Party of India and hopes that it would give an edge in getting Muslim votes. While Karti's main poll plank is voting out Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Raja is wooing the voters saying P Chidambaram had not addressed issues facing the constituency despite being a union minister for a long period during the Congress regimes.
In the 2014 elections, Karti, on his maiden electoral foray, was comprehensively defeated here while the AIADMK had wrested the seat.
The AIADMK, DMK, Congress and the BJP had then contested the elections with smaller allies.
Karti in his campaign focuses on his party's showpiece scheme of 'Nyay,' asserting it will be a game changer in the lives of the poor. He also assures village women folk of lowering the cable television charges to enable them to watch their favourite soap operas.
Raja's campaign, though has references to national security, is not to the extent seen in BJP's campaign elsewhere in the country. He addresses more of local issues such as the implementation of Cauvery Gundaru River linking project, making Sivaganga a textile hub for spurring employment opportunities.
Though 26 candidates including Kamal Haasan-led Makkal Needhi Maiam's Kavingnar Snekan are in the fray, the main contest is among the Congress, BJP and the AMMK.
Chidambaram's son and Congress nominee Karti will face triangular contest from BJP national secretary H Raja and the candidate of TTV Dhinakaran's Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK).