Constituency round-up: Sitting DMK MLA to recontest Thiru-Vi-Ka Nagar; voters want better infra and jobs

As constituents raise a host of civic and economic issues, sitting DMK MLA Thayagam Kavi takes on the AIADMK candidate Kalyani P L. Get the details of the contest here.

Thiru-Vi-Ka Nagar, a predominantly working class constituency, has had several concerns over poor infrastructure and civic issues for years. Problems around water, sanitation and civic amenities and questions around patta and evictions are key factors that could weigh on the minds of voters as they choose in the upcoming elections.

The constituency will see a face-off between DMK and AIADMK, with the incumbent DMK MLA Thayagam Kavi seeking re-election. The assembly constituency includes areas such as Ayanavaram, Otteri, Pulianthope, Pattalam and a part of Perambur.

Read more: With elections coming up, civic works gather steam. Are you watching?

The incoming MLA will have to meet the various demands and expectations of the constituents — from issues of employment and livelihood to civic amenities. Constituents also cite safety concerns, especially after recent high profile crimes such as the Ayanavaram child sexual abuse case.

Votes cast (2016)

  • Total number of voters: 136487
  • Male Voters: 68239
  • Female voters: 67606
  • Third gender: 8
  • Postal votes: 634
  • Polling percentage: 63.49

2016 election results

PartyCandidateVotes acquiredPercentage of votes polled
(As per ECI website)
DMKP. Sivakumar61,74445.25
ADMKNeelakandan V58,42242.82
NOTANone of the above2,6851.97
PMKVanithamani D2,0561.51
Thiru-Vi-Ka Nagar primarily has working class voters. (Representative image)

Incumbent MLA

  • Name: P Sivakumar alias Thayagam Kavi
  • Party: DMK
  • Age: 51
  • Victory margin: 3,322
  • Profession: Lawyer
  • Criminal cases: 15 pending cases, 0 convictions

Source: ECI 

In the news:

  • The incumbent MLA Thayagam Kavi has spoken up against the government’s budget and pointed out the growing fiscal deficit in the state.
  • He has also made speeches pertaining to the lack of new infrastructure projects in the state.
  • The MLA raised his voice against the introduction of NEET exams for admission to undergraduate medical colleges in the state, alleging that this would exclude many students from the state.
  • The residents of the constituency have long expressed displeasure over the poor state of abattoirs. In Perambur, the facilities were upgraded but workers moved the Madras High Court fearing that the automation would leave 3000 of them jobless. The Perambur abattoir has since been defunct but Thyagam Kavi alleged that this was a political ploy and that his political opponents had instigated the workers in order to discredit the modernisation work completed during his tenure.
  • The Pulianthope abattoir is also ill-equipped to handle the volume it serves and has been a health hazard for residents in the area. When the poor condition of the slaughterhouse was called out by media, the MLA himself pointed to the lack of basic facilities and said that since they had no proper platform to cut the meat, they were forced to make compromises on hygiene.
  • Water shortage affected the constituency during the crisis in the past two years, with the MLA fielding calls from residents on the lack of piped water supply. 

Know your candidates this time:

S. NoNamePartyAgeEducation/OccupationCriminal Cases
1Sivakumar P
(Thayagam Kavi)
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam55Advocate/ M.A ; B.L15 pending cases
2Kalyani P LAll India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam55Social Worker/ Class 10Nil
3Obath SMakkal Needhi Maiam30Business/ B.Com; LLBNil
4Udaya Chandran RIndependent27Business/ Class 10Nil
5Kalyani KIndependent43Housekeeping/ N/ANil
6Ranganathan MIndependent34Business/ Class 7Nil
7Premkumar GIndependent42Business/ Class 11Nil
8Dr Illavanji RNaam Tamilar Katchi44Doctor/ MBBS ; MDNil
9Ramesh Babu MIndependent39Advocate/ B.Com; LLBNil
10Raviparaiyanar DRepublican Party of India (Athawale)44Real estate/ Class 10Nil
11Sihamani JIndependent51Labourer/ B.ANil
12Malathi SIndependent36House Wife/ Class 6Nil
13Prabhakaran KMakkal Aatchi Katchi37Advocate/ M.A; B.LNil
14Sekar EIndependent51Driver/ Class 10Nil
15Birlabose MIndependent48Plumber / Class  8Nil
16Santhanu SIndependent33Advocate/ B.Tech; BLNil
17Govindaraj GIndependent60Driver/ Class 7Nil
18Kolanji MIndependent49Labourer/ Class 4Nil
19Sekar M PDesiya Murpokku Dravidar Kazhagam40Labourer/ Class 5Nil
20Ravikumar SRepublican Party of India (Sivaraj)39Business/ Class 6Nil
21Bagavath Singh MBahujan Samaj Party60Business/ Class 9Nil
22Sundar GIndependent42Labourer/ Class 10Nil
23Selvakumar AIndependent44Electrician/ N/ANil

Source: ECI. To know more about the candidates, check their affidavits here.

Key issues:

  • Civic infrastructure is a key issue in many parts of the constituency. Residents of the parts of Perambur that belong to the constituency have created a community watch group to monitor and report on civic issues. The group has released a wishlist for the candidates to act upon, including solving traffic congestion, encroachment of roads by shops and the poor state of many civic amenities. The encroachment by commercial establishments on Patel Road and Bharathi Road have been highlighted by the residents.
  • Relocation or closure of TASMAC shops in residential areas is a longstanding demand of the residents. 
  • The fate of many families residing along the riverbanks in areas such as  Otteri also hangs in the balance with the spate of evictions in order to clean up the city’s rivers and canals. Families who have resided in slums along the banks face the prospect of being moved far away to housing tenements in Perumbakkam.  “We are fearful of eviction as many among our neighbourhood have been moved to Perumbakkam. If we move there we have to look for jobs and schooling. We have lived here for decades and do not want to move away from the city”, said Karthiga S who resides close to the nullah.

Read more: Knock knock, no response: The tale behind Chennai’s civic mess

  • Pulianthope suffered widespread water stagnation in the aftermath of cyclone Nivar. Even during the normal monsoon season, waterlogging and poor drainage is an issue that has persisted in the area. “When Nivar cyclone hit the state, we were stranded for over a day; with high levels of water logging we had to wade out and wait for water to recede,” said Thambi Durai of Pulianthope.
  • On the other hand, many settlements here do not have piped water supply and the water shortage has been acute, affecting residents during the pandemic. 
  • Ayanavaram’s streets require easing of traffic on the main junctions, but the proposed grade separator project has been moving at a slow pace. The bus terminus in the area too needs a facelift. The linking of Perambur flyover to Ayanavaram for easing traffic congestion and improving access is also one of the prime wishes of residents.

Also read:

PM Modi just promised Perumbakkam 1000+ new houses. Who will solve the woes of the existing ones?

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