BJP to play Smart City card in Coimbatore

Coimbatore, April 23 (IANS) The BJP is using the ‘Smart City’ programme as a cure for all the civic problems in this industrial city in the Tamil Nadu assembly polls, said one of the party’s senior leaders and a candidate.

Coimbatore, about 500 km from Chennai, has been selected under the central government’s Smart City programme.

“Coimbatore as a whole and my constituency Coimbatore South is facing several civic issues. The outer ring road project is getting delayed. I am pointing out that the civic issues will be solved under the Smart City programme,” Vanathi Srinivasan, who is vice president of the BJP’s Tamil Nadu unit, told IANS.

“I will also come out with a manifesto for my constituency. We are getting the feedback from the people. They are being studied now,” she said.

According to her, there are around 250,000 voters in the Coimbatore South constituency.

“I am appealing to the middle and the upper middle class to come out in large numbers and vote in the elections,” she said.

The ruling AIADMK instead of fielding the sitting legislator has fielded Amman K. Arjunan.

For the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Srinivasan is one of the strong hopefuls to enter the state assembly this year.

The BJP is contesting in all the 10 assembly constituencies in Coimbatore district and is confident of winning seven seats.

“We are focusing on prohibition, corruption in the AIADMK rule and local issues,” said C.R. Nandakumar, the BJP candidate for Singanallur constituency of the district.

However AIADMK’s Arjunan, 58, dismisses BJP’s hopes of winning seven seats as wishful thinking.

“In 2011 assembly elections BJP got over 5,500 votes in Coimbatore South. The party is not in my reckoning at all,” he said.

He said Srinivasan is running a hi-tech campaign whereas his style is a down-to-earth door-to-door campaign.

“The people themselves list out the schemes like free fan, mixer/grinder, laptop (computer) to students and others wherever I go for campaigning. This time we are confident of doubling the victory margin to around 54,000 votes,” Arjunan said.

Tamil Nadu votes on May 16 to elect the 234-member assembly.

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