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Five constituencies in Tiruchi will witness battle between AIADMK and DMK

Monday 10 April 2006, by MUTHAHAR SAQAF*Syed

Nine constituencies in the district account for 17,55,023 voters

TIRUCHI: Tiruchi district has always remained an epicentre of major political activities. It was at the second State conference of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) here in 1956 that it took the historic decision to jump into electoral fray.

The composite Tiruchi district, under the Representation of the People Act, 1950, was divided into 15 Assembly constituencies for the first elections in 1952.

They elected 19 members to the Madras State Assembly, with double members from Thirumayam, Karur, Perambalur and Jayankondam segments.

Owing to the changes introduced by the Delimitation Order, 1956, the number of Assembly seats in the district increased to 17 in the second elections in 1957. The formation of new districts of Pudukottai, Karur and Perambalur brought it down to nine.

First elections

In the first elections, the parties in the fray were the Indian National Congress (INC), the Tamil Nadu Toilers Party (TTP), the All-India Scheduled Caste Federation, the Socialist Party, the Communist Party of India, the Akhil Bharathiya Hindu Maha Sabha and the Kisan Mazdoor Praja Party. The Congress won 5, the TTP 5, the CPI 2 and Independents 7.

In the 1957 elections, the DMK was also in the fray, fielding M.Karunanidhi from Kulithalai (now in Karur district). Mr.Karunanidhi defeated his Congress rival K.A.Dharmalingam by over 8,000 votes.

The Congress won 17 out of 20 seats, while the DMK and the CPI won one each and an Independent emerging victorious in one seat.

In the next elections in 1962, the DMK consolidated its position, winning nine seats. While the Congress got 10, the CPI was successful in one constituency. When the DMK captured power in 1967, the party bagged 15 seats, leaving six to the Congress and one to the Swatantara party. In the 1971 elections, the district returned a record 18 DMK members to the Assembly.

AIADMK bastion

After the AIADMK was launched, it dominated the political scenario here. In the 1977, 1980 and 1984 elections, the DMK secured only 2, 3 and 1 seat respectively. The AIADMK continued to dominate in the 1990s too. In 2001, the AIADMK won six seats, leaving the rest to the DMK. Communist leader M.Kalyanasundaram (Tiruchi), former Congress Ministers V.Ramaiah (Thirumayam) and Jothi Venkatachalam (Srirangam) and Vijayaragunatha Thondaiman of the Pudukottai Royal family (Pudukottai), INTUC leader M.Palaniyandi (Ariyalur), social worker E.P.Mathuram (Tiruchi), and DMK leaders M.Karunanidhi (Kulithalai), Anbil P.Dharmalingam (Lalgudi) and K.R.Subbiah (Pudukottai) were some of those elected. Mutharaiyars are the dominant community. Muslims and Christians too have substantial presence in various segments.

With the battle line for the elections drawn, the DMK and the AIADMK, will lock horns in Tiruchi II, Musiri, Lalgudi, Marungapuri and Uppiliyapuram (ST). While it will be the DMK vs. the MDMK in Tiruchi I, the Congress will take on the MDMK in Thottiyam and the AIADMK in Srirangam.

The DMK will take on the Mooventhar Munnetra Kazhagam in Tiruverumbur.

The nine constituencies account for 17,55,023 voters.

See online : The Hindu

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