Chennai, March 17: Southern superstar-turned-politician Kamal Haasan is likely to face a tough electoral battle in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore South from where he filed his nomination papers for the April 6 Assembly elections from his party Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM).
Kamal will take on BJP leader, Vanathi Srinivasan, who is the National president of the party’s woman’s wing, the Mahila Morcha, who is contesting as the AIADMK-BJP alliance candidate.
Congress leader Mayura Jayakumar will be fighting the elections as the DMK-Congress combine candidate, while the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) has fielded former AIADMK leader, Challenger R. Doraisamy who is an industrialist.
Srinivasan had polled 33,113 votes in the 2016 assembly elections contesting alone with a voting percentage of 21.57 and the AIADMK candidate Amman K. Arjunan had won the seat by polling 59,788 votes with a percentage of 38.94.
The AIADMK and BJP are now in an electoral alliance and Srinivasan is the candidate of the combine which makes her formidable and with a high winning chance.
Mayura Jayakumar as a Congress candidate in the 2016 assembly elections had polled 42,369 votes at 27.60 voting percentage and lost the elections to Amman K. Arjunan of the AIADMK.
Challenger Dorai was a former MLA of AIADMK who had defeated the then DMK candidate Pongalur N. Palanisamy by a margin of 27,796 votes.
The CPM has also a presence in the constituency and the party candidate, C. Padmanabhan had polled 7,248 votes at 4.7 per cent.
Kamal Haasan is banking his hopes on the votes polled by his party Vice President R. Mahendran’s putting up a good show in the 2019 parliament elections when the MNM had contested for the first time.
Mahendran had polled 23,838 votes from the Coimbatore South assembly segment in the elections but was a distant third to P.R. Natarajan of the CPM-DMK combine, who got 64,453 votes while C.P. Radhakrishnan of the BJP garnered 46,368 votes.
However, Kamal Haasan is much more popular face among the masses than Mahendran and if Kamal gets the ground support from the Muslim community coupled with the votes garnered by Mahendran, there is a possibility of him winning the polls.
The minority Muslims and Christians constitute 25 per cent of the votes in the constituency and the Dalit’s have a 20 per cent vote bank. Kamal Haasan is banking on these voters along with his popularity.
R. Mahendran speaking over telephone told IANS: “Kamal Haasan is a popular person across South India and the votes I got in the last Lok Sabha polls coupled with the support he is to garner from the minority Muslims, Christians and Dalits will bring him a spectacular victory.
“The superstar is a hit here since he has filed the nominations and people are looking forward to him winning.”
Kamal Haasan is in the constituency, meeting people, attending Gyms, drinking tea at the wayside eateries, listening to people’s issues and also trying a hand at the martial art forms of Coimbatore and basking in the popularity among the people.
A tough fight is in the offing at Coimbatore South seat.
Polling booths: 377
Voters (Male) : 1,25,416
Voters (Female): 1,25,950
Third gender : 23
2016 Election result
Total Voters :2,45,307
Votes polled :1,53,533( 62.59%)
Amman K. Arjunan (AIADMK): 59,788 (38.94%)
Mayura S. Jayakumar (Congress): 42,369(27.60%)
Vanathi Srinivasan (BJP): 33,113( 21.57%)
C.Padmanabhan (CPM): 7,248 (4.72%)