Tamil Nadu Lok Sabha polls: Tight contest between DMK- AIADMK and BJP on cards in Coimbatore

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Coimbatore: Coimbatore, one of the key constituencies to watch out for in the 2024 general elections of the 39 total Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu, witnessing a tight contest between the ruling DMK, AIADMK, and BJP.

DMK’s Ganapathy Rajkumar, AIADMK’s Singhai Ramachandran, and BJP’s President Annamalai have been announced as candidates for the Coimbatore Lok Sabha seat which has traditionally favoured AIADMK and BJP than DMK.

Coimbatore, always a tough ground for DMK

The western region known as the Kongu belt including Coimbatore has always been full of challenges for DMK. The ruling DMK sees this Lok Sabha seat as a prestige issue as the party though registered a landslide win across the state in the last assembly elections held in 2021, failed to make a mark in Coimbatore. The DMK was defeated in all the 10 assembly constituencies in the Coimbatore Lok Sabha constituency by AIADMK- BJP alliance. AIADMK won 9 seats while BJP won 1.

2019 Coimbatore LS seat election results

In the last 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the CPI (M) candidate PR Natarajan in the DMK alliance won by a margin of more than 1.5 lakh votes by getting 571,150 lakh votes. In the AIADMK alliance, BJP candidate CP Radhakrishnan came second with 3,92,007 votes and Mahendran of Makkal Needhi Maiyam-led by Kamal Haasan came third with 1,45,104 votes.

The DMK and AIADMK have not contested directly in the Coimbatore Lok Sabha constituency for a long time as both parties mostly allotted this LS seat to allies.

CPM won Coimbatore 8 times

If you look at the history of Coimbatore from 1952 to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, only the CPM and the Congress have predominately won here. Congress has won 6 times and CPM 8 times. DMK has won twice, AIADMK once, and BJP twice.

This time, AIADMK has fielded its candidate Singai Ramachandran after breaking its alliance with BJP a few months ago. The DMK also did not allocate Coimbatore to its ally CPM this time. On the other side, the BJP high command in a surprise move, announced K Annamalai, president of the state BJP unit as its candidate. In a way, the Coimbatore is witnessing a three-way contest in Coimbatore this time between DMK, AIADMK, and BJP.

Tight contest on cards

Political analysts felt that Kamal Haasan’s MNM which has a significant vote bank in Coimbatore, is in the DMK alliance and is an additional strength of the party.

On the other hand, the BJP also sees a significant vote bank in the Coimbatore Lok Sabha constituency as their strength. The saffron party caders believe that Annamalai’s announcement as a candidate is also a plus for them.

On the other hand, former AIADMK minister SP Velumani has a major role in keeping Coimbatore as AIADMK’s stronghold. As AIADMK candidate Singhai Ramachandran is close to him, he is also expected to give a tough fight against opposition candidates.

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