Industrial effluents polluting River Cauvery and the lack of development projects are among the key issues in Erode Parliamentary Constituency. On the farm front, a major grouse is that urbanisation is leading to shrinking of lands for agriculture. Farmers in the constituency are also putting up a stiff resistance to the project for high-tension power lines across farm lands.
Erode and Modakurichi Assembly Constituencies were part of the Tiruchengodu Parliamentary Constituency from 1967 to 2008. The Erode Parliamentary Constituency was formed in the delimitation exercise of 2009. It has six Assembly segments, two each from three revenue districts: Erode East, Erode West and Modakurichi in Erode district, Kumarapalayam in Namakkal district and Dharapuram and Kangayam in Tiruppur district.
A region dominated by the Kongu Vellalar Gounder community, who are into agriculture, textiles, manufacturing, exports and construction, the constituency is also the birthplace of E.V. Ramasamy (Periyar) who founded the Dravidar Kazhagam.
Erode has not been able to overcome the pollution caused by industrial effluents. In the absence of zero discharge effluent treatment plants, textile and tannery industries located in Erode and Kumarapalayam continue to discharge effluents into canals and streams that join the Cauvery.
Pollution continues to be a problem as the State government’s announcement to establish an integrated textile processing park with common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) in Erode, Pallipalayam and Kumarapalayam in 2014 is yet to take off.
The delay in handing over the required land by textile processors and in registering the companies has hit implementation, says president of Federation of All Trade and Industry Associations of Erode District T. Jagadeesan. Many small units were closed as they could not establish their own treatment plants at a huge cost.
M. Chinnasamy, Chairman of Olirum Erodu Foundation that works for environment protection and restoration of water bodies, says the government should take stringent measures to end the discharge of untreated effluents that polluted of cauvery. A
s for the farmers, apart from the high-tension power lines, they are upset over the proposal to run a petroleum line from Coimbatore to Devangonthi in Karnataka, across farms in Erode constituency.
C. Nallasamy, president of Keel Bhavani Vivasayigal Nala Sangam, says the non-implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations for the uplift of the farm sector has forced many farmers to give up farming, he laments.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, MDMK candidate A. Ganeshamurthi defeated E.V.K.S. Elangovan, a Congress leader and grandnephew of Periyar. In the 2014 elections, Mr. Ganeshamurthi finished second, losing to AIADMK’s Selvakumara Chinnayan.
This time, Mr. Ganeshamurthi is contesting on the DMK’s Rising Sun symbol as his party, the MDMK is part of the DMK-led Secular Progressive Alliance.
There is, however, a bit of a disappointment among the DMK and Congress cadre as the seat was allocated to the MDMK.
Mr. Ganeshamurthi seems to have an edge over the rival AIADMK candidate G. Manimaran, who hails from Kangeyam in the neighbouring district of Tiruppur.
Others in the fray include A. Saravanakumar of Makkal Needhi Maiam and K.C. Senthilkumar of Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, who is contesting as an independent candidate.