“My fortune was spoiled because Appu, as district secretary, changed six area secretaries in my area after I filed my nomination for the Katpadi constituency. This resulted in the new incumbents being ignorant of the people in their respective areas,” Ramu charged.
However, locals claimed that the ‘popular talk’ that Ramu was a ‘weak’ candidate deliberately filed in that constituency to help Duraimurugan win due to the “uncle-nephew” relationship between former minister KC Veeramani and Duraimurugan. Then as the polls drew near another theory floated among the party cadre was that Ramu has been “taken care of” by Duraimurugan.
“This gossip also weakened my position,” Ramu told DT Next, adding, “despite all these, I alone gave a tough fight to Duraimurugan, who had defeated Appu twice in 2011 and 2016 polls.”
When asked about Ramu’s allegations, Appu said, “I would have won if I had been given the Katpadi ticket. But Veeramani’s machinations ensured I was shifted to Vellore constituency just for this reason.”
Asked about the reason for his loss to sitting DMK Vellore MLA P Karthikeyan, Appu said “I lost the Muslim vote totally. Till the third round, I was leading but Karthikeyan made gains from the fourth round and when checked we found that these votes were from Muslim areas in Vellore town.”
Referring to the neighbouring Ranipet constituency, he said, “In that industrial town also minority community members got their demands fulfilled but voted for the DMK candidate.
AIADMK is now gearing up for the local body polls as the DMK, which tasted success in both Parliament and Assembly elections, will aim for a hat trick by winning the local bodies polls also.”