Pollachi Lok Sabha Constituency

Pollachi Lok Sabha Constituency

Pollachi is a major town and taluk headquarters in the Coimbatore district in the Southern State of Tamilnadu. It is located around 45Kms from the district headquarters, Coimbatore and around 60kms south of Tiruppur. Pollachi is popular for its coconut plantations, jaggery, coir. It is also a major tourism attraction destination with Valparai, Anamalai, Azhiyar Dam, Topslip etc all within a few kilometre radius. It is also a major destination for the cinema industry and a well known shooting spot for movie makers. Pollachi Lok Sabha constituency is also a prestigious seat in the Kongu belt. Pollachi was also known as Pozhil Vaitchi in Tamil which means “gifted with beauty”. The Pollachi Lok Sabha consists of the following Assembly segments: Thondamuthur, Kinathukadavu, Pollachi, Valparai(SC), Udumalpet and Madathukulam.

The Goundars, Telugu Chettiyars, Naidus are the major castes and vote-banks in this particular seat. The Dalits and Christians also have a respected population in this constituency as well. This seat has elected 17 members to the Lok Sabha since 1951 including the by-election in the year 1971. Pollachi has strong AIADMK presence. Out the 17 times, the AIADMK had won 7 times, the DMK 4 times, the Indian National Congress 3 times and the MDMK twice and the TMC once.

Pollachi Lok Sabha constituency had 13,81,505 electors in 2014 with 6,86,493 male electors and 6,94,562 female electors. In the last General Election C. Mahendran of the AIADMK got a staggering 41.7% of the total votes polled while the runner up E.R Eswaran who stood on the lotus symbol was able to secure 2,76,118 votes. The DMK came a distant third with 2,51,829 votes. Selvaraj of the Indian National Congress polled 30,014 votes. In the last General election AIADMK and the BJP contested separately while the DMK and the Congress too did not have an alliance last time around. Now with the AIADMK in the NDA fold and the DMK back in the UPA,  things are little different for the 2019 General elections in Pollachi Lok Sabha constituency.

Some of the important issues in this particular constituency to be addressed are acute water scarcity, agrarian crisis, lack of proper infrastructure and safety of women and the students.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Alliances

Strengths of NDA – The national democratic alliance which consists of the ruling AIADMK and BJP as the major players in Pollachi will bank on its welfare and developmental schemes in the recent past to play its role and the arithmetics to workout at the ground level. Going by the previous General election statistics, the vote share of AIADMK and the BJP were 41.7% and 27.6%. They would definitely want to transfer their votes at the ground level and ensure that together they get past at least 50% of the total vote share in the 2019 General election for the Pollachi Lok Sabha constituency. Another formidable factor is the presence of many important state-level ministers and the deputed speaker in this Lok Sabha constituency. Their clout and loyalty from their supporters is something that is a useful weapon in their hands during the General Elections.

Weaknesses of the NDA- Anti-Modi feelings and sentiments of the people of Tamilnadu and anti-Incumbency of the ruling state government are two factors to look into.

The exit of E.R Eswaran from the NDA fold. Last time around the General secretary of the KMDK, E.R Eswaran who has a strong vote bank among the Kongu Vellalar Goundar community was able to secure the crucial votes for the BJP. The death of the former Chief Minister J.Jayalalitha. Pollachi was always considered a favourite of the late CM J.Jayalalitha. The people of this constituency gave mandates to the AIADMK as a token of love. Now with her no more, things are little shaky this time around for the AIADMK.

Strengths and weaknesses of the UPA

Strengths of UPA- In the last General elections the Congress, DMK and the two Communist parties contested separately. This led to the disintegration of votes. The UPA has the Indian National Congress, the DMK, MDMK, KMDK and the Communist parties in its fold. All these parties have their own support base and votes in the Pollachi Lok Sabha constituency. The question is can they make this arithmetics and chemistry work on the ground? If they are able to put up a strong face against the NDA candidate, then things can favour them.

Weaknesses of UPA- Lack of ground volunteers and famous leaders in this region. The DMK and the Congress lack the required ground volunteers and reputed leaders in this region. They would bank on E.r Eswaran’s KMDK, Vaiko’s MDMK and the Communist parties to play a pivotal role in boosting the alliance’s prospects especially in the Pollachi Lok Sabha constituency.

Another concern for the two alliances would be the entry of the AMMK and the MNM. But can they make gains? Let’s wait and watch.

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