VELLORE: The leather town of Ambur has been maintaining communal amity in the civic elections for over
60 years. There is an unwritten agreement between the Hindu and the Muslim communities that is being meticulously followed.
Accordingly, when a Muslim candidate gets elected for one term, the next term will be held by a Hindu
candidate. The Vice-Chairperson would be a Hindu if the chairperson is a Muslim and vice versa.
During the last civic polls, the municipality had to elect a candidate from the general (men) category and it was the turn of the Muslims, wherein DMK candidate Nazir Ahmed was elected, defeating his rival from the AIADMK. In this poll, the municipality has to elect a woman candidate from general category and it is now the turn of the Hindus to field their candidates.
Accordingly, various political parties have fielded women candidates in a seven-cornered battle for the plum post of Chairperson.
While the AIADMK has fielded Sangeetha Balasubramanian, a novice, the DMK has fielded Shanthi Raj, a second-time contestant. The Congress suffered a setback as two of its candidates Shakila Theerthagiri and Roselin Sampath withdrew their nominations. They have become independent candidates now. The DMDK, PMK and VCK have also fielded their candidates, bringing in more competition. As things stand, there is going to be a tough battle ahead for both, the AIADMK and DMK candidates. This is mainly because of the changing political and communal equations that are likely to impact these parties . Meanwhile, the Indian Union Muslim League, which was in alliance with the DMK so far, has switched sides and announced its support to an independent candidate Shakila Theerthagiri, while the AIADMK’s ally Manithaneya Makkal Katchi has fielded its own candidates in four wards. This is certainly a setback for the AIADMK.
DMK candidate, Shanthi Raj and the Congress candidate, Shakila Theerthagiri contested in the 2001 polls but lost to the AIADMK candidate, Latha Udhakumar, who won hands down in the elections that year.