Two southern MPs banking on Lok Sabha performance

May 12th, 2009 - 3:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, May 12 (IANS) Two MPs from southern India - S.K. Kharventhan of the Congress and M. Ramadass of the PMK - are confident of romping home successfully in Wednesday’s elections on the basis of their performance in parliament.
As a Congress MP from Palani in Tamil Nadu, Kharventhan raised many issues, drawing the attention of the government and the public. He asked a total of 1,200 questions during the five-year term of the Lok Sabha and took part in 187 debates.

Puducherry MP Ramadass was the only member in the 14th Lok Sabha to submit to people an annual report of his activities as their representative.

Ramadass, who hails from the fishermen community, took part in 151 parliament debates, raised 380 questions and scored 94 percent attendance.

Both MPs have used media reports of their Lok Sabha performance to attract voters in their respective constituencies.

With the Palani constituency scrapped in the delimitation exercise, Kharventhan was initially apprehensive when he was given the ticket to contest from the hosiery town of Tirupur.

But he is upbeat when asked about his prospects in the fight against AIADMK’s C. Sivasamy.

“In the rural areas there are no great issues that would affect my chances. In the urban areas people consider my parliamentary performance positively,” Kharventhan told IANS over phone from Tirupur.

To his voters in Tirupur he has promised to improve the railway network, solving problems in funding the common effluent treatment plant put by the dyeing units there and bringing the constituency under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, setting up a chain of cold storages in the nearby Gobichettipallayam.

Ramadass said from Puducherry: “People have appreciated my performance in the outgoing Lok Sabha.”

He is confident of securing more votes than his Congress rival V. Narayanasamy, a three-time Rajya Sabha member. “Nearly 50 percent of Puducherry voters are neutral in their political leanings and I hope they will vote based on my performance,” Ramadass said.

Unlike in neighbouring Tamil Nadu, the Sri Lankan Tamil problem is not a major election issue in the union territory of Puducherry.

Admirers of Ramadass say he was instrumental in bringing to Puducherry the Rs.330 million Karaikal port project, improving rail connectivity, and expanding railway reservation counters at Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam.

“Our MP was instrumental in the conduct of local bodies elections in Puducherry after a four-decade gap. He was also instrumental in the devolution of powers to the local bodies,” said one PMK worker.

-Indo-Asian News Service

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