Vanathi Srinivasan beats Kamal Haasan to win seesaw battle in Coimbatore South

Vanathi Srinivasan defeated MNM’s Kamal Haasan and Congress’ Mayura Jayakumar.
Vanathi Srinivasan
Vanathi Srinivasan
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The three-way fight at Coimbatore South saw a photo finish, with BJP’s Vanathi Srinivasan eventually emerging the winner. Vanathi Srinivasan won by a razor thin margin of over 1500 votes. In the tightly-fought race, Kamal Haasan of Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) came second in the race to the Legislative Assembly while Mayura Jayakumar of Indian National Congress (INC) came third. This will be Vanathi’s first stint as an MLA in Tamil Nadu.

The seesaw battle saw MNM chief Kamal Haasan initially leading. But a few rounds later Congress’ Mayura Jayakumar took the lead. BJP’s Vanathi Srinivasan, who had been pushed to the third place in the beginning, however, closed in and battled it out with her rivals. 

The Coimbatore South constituency was formed after the 2008 delimitation. The constituency elected AIADMK’s R Doraisamy as its first MLA in 2011. In 2016, AIADMK’s Amman K Arjunan was elected as the constituency’s representative in the state legislative assembly.

With around 1.75 lakh voters, in 2021, the constituency garnered a lot of attention after Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief and actor Kamal Haasan announced that he will contest from this constituency. With BJP’s National Women’s Wing President Vanathi Srinivasan and INC’s Working President of Tamil Nadu Mayura Jayakumar also announcing their candidatures from this constituency, it became a three-pronged fight with a lot of star value.

For Vanathi Srinivasan, this was her third state assembly election. She had contested from Coimbatore South in 2016 as well and had come third after Amman K Arjunan and Mayura Jayakumar. With political veterans in Coimbatore South like Vanathi Srinivasan and Mayura Jayakumar on the sidelines of the contest, Kamal Haasan, an electoral debutant, said, “Coimbatore is a place close to my heart. ‘Kongu sezhithaal, engum sezhikum’ (If Kongu region flourishes, everywhere else would flourish too) is a proverb. It is sad that it has become a corrupt capital now. I plan on changing that. My voice will ring like the sound of conch from Coimbatore in the Assembly. It is in people’s hand for that to happen,” as he announced his candidature. 

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