Many voters from several villages in parts of Nanguneri constituency boycotted polling on Monday as their demand for excluding seven sub castes from a list of Scheduled Caste and include such sub castes in a common tag of ‘Devendrakula Vellalar’ were ignored by the state government.
However, the Irular tribes in Vikravandi, who announced a bypoll boycott earlier, came out to vote and they openly declared their support to DMK candidate N Pugazhendi on Monday.
“We have lost hopes in AIADMK government as the government is continuously targeting Irular youth by booking them in all the unsolved crime cases in the district. Though we have protested in all possible ways the community is yet to get justice,” said Prabha Kalvimani of Irular Tribe Protection Association, who is working with the community for close to 25 years.
Irulas are present in close to 30 villages in and around Ulundurpet Taluk and according to them, they were targeted by police in all the criminal cases. They have been demanding justice from the government by taking action on the police officials who foisted fake cases against them but as their demands were not fulfilled for several years and they decided to boycott the by-election.
However, in the final days towards the by-election Villupuram MP D Ravikumar and former DMK minister K Ponmudi met the representatives of Irular community and assured them that DMK alliance will fight for the rights of the community. Later, DMK president MK Stalin met the representatives and assured them the support on behalf of DMK alliance.
Following the meeting, the members of Irular community decided to cast their votes in favour of DMK.
Then the representatives met all the Irular community members in person and conveyed them the assurance given by leaders of DMK alliance.
“Already we are not receiving any welfare measures of the state government and there is nothing to lose by supporting DMK. We have hopes that at least their demands will be fulfilled in the future,” said Prabha Kalvimani when asked about government repercussion if any.