Battle of Madurai

Published : May 08, 2009 00:00 IST

M.K. Azhagiri, the DMK candidate in Madurai.-S. JAMES

M.K. Azhagiri, the DMK candidate in Madurai.-S. JAMES

ALL eyes are on the Madurai constituency in southern Tamil Nadu where Chief Minister M. Karunanidhis son M.K. Azhagiri is contesting the elections for the first time. Azhagiri was rewarded with the DMK ticket after he enabled the party to win the Tirumangalam (near Madurai) Assembly seat in a byelection in January, defeating the AIADMKs candidate. Opposition parties called it a tainted victory because money and muscle power allegedly played a big role in it.

Azhagiris boast is that he will win the seat by a margin of three lakh votes. However, his main opponent, P. Mohan of the CPI(M), is unfazed. Mohan, who was elected from the constituency in 1994 and 2004, is determined to give Azhagiri a run for his money. CPI(M) and AIADMK cadre have enmeshed like a battalion ready to proceed to the battle front. Evidence of this was available at their joint meeting at Melur. Applause broke out when Mohan told the workers of the two parties: The DMK had [earlier] shown that it can win an election through money and rowdyism. It should be met with in Madurai. The blow we give [the rivals] at Madurai should be a blow in all the 40 constituencies.

Mohan told Frontline: The focus of my campaign is on what I have done in Madurai in the past 10 years. Without showing any partiality, I have done sincere service. His list of achievements, he says, includes the removal of the bottleneck in the railway segment between Madurai and Dindigul by converting the metre gauge line into broad gauge; lengthening the runway of the Madurai airport, which led to the introduction of more flights; starting a Kendriya Vidyalaya at Tiruparankunram; setting up a Doordarshan studio; expanding the Madurai Rajaji Hospital to the unused land of the Anna bus terminus and using the MP Local Areas Development Fund of Rs.20 crore to provide education, health and other infrastructure facilities. He said he would press for the establishment of a Central university, a branch of Anna University and a Navodaya school in Madurai.

Azhagiri has made a range of promises, which include building an international airport; establishing a factory to produce jasmine oil; opening a unit of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, and making Madurai a clean city, green city and E-city.

T.S. Subramanian
Sign in to Unlock member-only benefits!
  • Bookmark stories to read later.
  • Comment on stories to start conversations.
  • Subscribe to our newsletters.
  • Get notified about discounts and offers to our products.
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment