Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections | Development amidst vexed civic woes in Anna Nagar

DMK has won the Anna Nagar seat eight times since 1977

The Anna Nagar constituency has been a fortress of the DMK, which has won the seat eight times since 1977. From here, DMK supremo M. Karunanidhi went to the Assembly twice. Party veterans K. Anbazhagan and Arcot N. Veerasami were also elected from the constituency. The only two occasions when the DMK lost was in 1991, when the Congress’s A. Chellakumar won, and in 2011, when the AIADMK’s S. Gokula Indira emerged as the winner.

This constituency comprises areas including Anna Nagar, Kilpauk, Shenoy Nagar, Aminjikarai and parts of Arumbakkam. With an electorate of 2.8 lakh, this constituency houses some of the richest in the city and the lower middle class and the poor.

Good facilities

From hospitals to educational institutions, this area boasts some good facilities; yet there are some pockets that have been neglected. For instance, while a majority of the roads are in a fairly good condition, there are certain pockets where roads are in a dismal state. Sixth Avenue in Anna Nagar, by-lanes in MMDA Colony, M.H. Colony in Aminjikarai and T.P. Chathram in Shenoy Nagar have been left unattended for long, and are in a terrible shape.

Narasimhan, a resident of MMDA Colony, says, “Durairaj Nagar road was relaid after several years just ahead of the election. It is very difficult to travel through M.H. Colony, and it is ridden with potholes. If it rains, the situation only gets worse.”

Tree cover lost

V. Swaminathan of Shenoy Nagar is disappointed that the tree cover has taken a hit owing to the Chennai Metro Rail project. “It has been years since the station has come up in this area but they have not yet restored the park. We need our trees back,” he says.

A. Chokkalingam of Anna Nagar West Extension Association says the storm-water drains have been built on a lower plane, and the water doesn’t flow easily to the Buckhingham Canal, and this should be rectified.

The DMK has renominated M.K. Mohan this time. He says he has made sure most civic amenities are well maintained. “During the lockdown, I have distributed hundreds of rice bags to the needy. From ration shops to anganwadis, I have opened quite a lot of facilities for the poor. In addition, I held a job camp recently wherein hundreds of youth got offers from companies,” he says.

V. Ponraj, who served as the scientific adviser to former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, is in the race as Makkal Needhi Maiam candidate. But his campaign suffered a setback as he was down with COVID-19. “From constructing good houses for those living in slum clearance board flats and those living close to the Cooum to recreation clubs for senior citizens, I will ensure the needs of all classes of people are taken care of, if voted to power,” he says.

S. Gokula Indira of the AIADMK told The Hindu that she is confident that her party will sweep the election.

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