Having fielded a three-time former DMK MLA as its candidate in Vedaranyam, BJP is pinning its hopes on this coastal constituency, where the ‘salt satyagraha’ was held during the freedom struggle, to make entry in Tamil Nadu Assembly in the 16 May elections.
BJP has fielded S K Vedarathinam, a popular businessman of this town, who joined the party in 2015 after resigning from DMK and is confident he would help the lotus bloom.
Vedaranyam, a major salt producing centre in Nagapattinam District, has its place in the country’s freedom struggle as it was here that C Rajagopalachari in 1930 staged the ‘salt sathyagraha’, south’s equivalent of Dandi march undertaken by Mahatma Gandhi against imposition of tax on salt by the British.
Besides its vast salt pans, the town, located about 350 kms from Chennai, is also known for prawn cultivation and fishing.
It is witnessing a multi-cornered fight involving Vedarathinam, ruling AIADMK’s O S Manian, Congress candidate PV Rajendiran, DMDK nominee Vairanathan and PMK’s Usha Kannan.
Vedarathinam, who scored a hat-trick of wins from the constituency from 1996 as a DMK nominee, lost to AIADMK’s N V Kamaraj in the 2011 polls. A businessman, Vedarathinam is popularly known as “SK”
among the locals. He was a strongman of DMK and got elected to the Assembly in 1996, 2001 and 2006 from Vedaranyam. He joined the BJP in 2015 and has got the party ticket to try his luck for a fifth time.
Political analysts feel that keeping in mind the popularity and winning streak of Vedarathinam, BJP had chosen Vedaranyam as among the places for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s electioneering in the state to give a strong push for the party’s goal of making a mark in the polls.
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