Friday, April 8, 2011

IT Minister takes on AIADMK nominee who defeated her father

Alangulam: Tamil Nadu's high-profile IT Minister Poongothai, a close confidant of DMK MP Kanimozhi, is locked in an intense electoral battle with arch-rival AIADMK’s P G Rajendran, who once defeated her father and party veteran Aladi Aruna, in this rural constituency in Tirunelveli district.

 Poongothai first successfully contested from this constituency in 2006, two years after her father Aruna, a Law Minister in the 1996-2001 DMK Government, was killed allegedly by his rivals in his native place. When he was killed, Aladi Aruna was not with the DMK.

However, considering his long association with the party, DMK chief M Karunanidhi fielded Poongothai, a gynaecologist by profession, from Alangulam and made her a Minister in his Government after she emerged victorious.

A tech-savvy person, Poongothai established an Information Technology Park in Gangaikondan, enhanced the standards of schools in the area and virtually brought about an IT revolution in this constituency and town, 25 kms from Tirunelveli.

With IT Minister as its MLA, Alangulam has a website joining a select club of villages which have a website of their own.

However, people here talk about the unfulfilled promises of bringing big industries to the constituency and the dream of a head hospital for the Alangulam taluk. They also complain about the Minister spending more time in Chennai.

Poongothai says water, sanitation, developmental projects and enhancing the quality of schools and education will help her get a second term in the 234-member state Assembly.

"We have done tremendous work for the past five years in this constituency. We have build new school buildings with Information Technology facilities and many more. And, moreover, I have been getting tremendous response from people wherever I go," she told here.

But, the AIADMK camp claims there is a "huge" anti-incumbency wave against the Minister and that the poll promises by Jayalalithaa would ensure their victory.

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