PMK guards its bastions
Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), which contested in 23 places across the state, won all the four constituencies in Salem and Dharmapuri districts.
The party won Pennagaram and Dharmapuri constituencies in Dharmapuri district, and Salem West and Mettur constituencies in Salem district.
While G K Mani won the Pennagaram constituency with a margin of 21,186 votes, S P Venkateshwaran won the Dharmapuri constituency with a margin of 26,860. R Arul won the battle in Salem West with 21,499 votes and S Sadhasivam won the Mettur constituency with a margin of 656 votes.
PMK cadres had started election work from day one, Mani told TOI. “We have a very strong network in the two districts. The election once again proved that the districts are strong forts of the party.”
It was a cakewalk for Mani, who was elected MLA from the Pennagaram assembly segment in 1996 and 2001. “I opened 142 government schools in the constituency and took steps to operate government buses on 29 new routes during my tenure. As I fulfilled almost all poll promises, Pennagaram people supported me once again,” he said.
Arul, a first-time MLA, listed three reasons for the party’s victory. “First one was our Ayya’s (PMK founder S Ramadoss) long battle for 10.5 % reservation for vanniyars. Former chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s achievements and the support of dalit people also helped the party.”
Salem West has more than 45,000 dalit voters, Arul said. “Half of them supported me as they did not see me as a vanniyar but as a member of their family,” he added.
Courtesy : TNN