Two-time AIADMK MLA Raju, who is also the Minister for Cooperation in the last two consecutive tenures of AIADMK since 2011, banks largely on Centre’s ‘Smart City Mission’ under which infrastructural developments are underway in parts of Madurai City. Raju is confident that the ‘Smart City’ project works would be over soon and dedicated to the people of Madurai.
Claiming himself to be an ordinary person, he says, “I will be at your back. Call me anytime.”
Known for his sarcastic remarks, Raju had earlier promised to transform Madurai, which is widely known as Thoonga Nagaram - the city that never sleeps - and put the city on a par with Sydney. However, many infrastructure works remain incomplete and roads are in bad shape. Traffic chaos adds to the distress on terrible roads. Much to the agony, water is not potable in many parts, including Nehru Nagar, where residents often hit the streets over the supply of contaminated sewer water. Despite airing grievances many a time, their problems continue to remain unsolved.
One solace for Raju is the absence of the AMMK in this much-talked-about constituency in Madurai.
On the other hand, DMK’s Chinnamal, who rides anti-incumbent sentiment, was a Councillor for two consecutive terms since 1996. This is her maiden Assembly election. Chinnammal along with the cadre reaches out to the voters with a booklet assuring them of digital-friendly services with technological advancements at their doorsteps. Experiencing the lack of medical facilities at primary health centres, she assured to equip PHCs.
N Sivakumar, a resident of Bastian Nagar, said a high-level bridge at Kalavasal in the heart of Madurai should have been a fly-over to cater to the growing needs of vehicle users along Arasaradi-Theni road, which remains highly congested. Moreover, he said betel vineyards once flourished in parts of Achampathu and Virattipathu along Kiruthumal river, needs to be revitalised with the establishment of an exclusive processing unit to promote employment in the suburbs. The traditional Kiruthumal river has encroached largely.
AIADMK has won six times in this constituency and DMK thrice.