A product of Rahul Gandhi’s talent search contest, the party nominee from Karur, S Jothimani, says she is contesting the elections on the planks of truth and honesty.
Pitted against the “well-entrenched” AIADMK’s M Thambidurai and DMK’s M Chinnaswamy, Jothimani has Rs. 2,500 in hand and assets (together with mother) worth Rs. 44 lakh.
Supporters are collecting donations for Jothimani’s campaign. At village meetings, people collect money for her — from Rs. 101 to Rs. 5,000. “They all know her modest background and identify with her,” said S Ganesan, a retired government employee.
Located in the heart of Tamil Nadu, Karur was once a Congress bastion. The seat is now represented by Thambidurai. “I am known as Sonia Gandhi’s candidate and it is a big plus for me. A student has even come from France,” said Jothimani.
She moves around in a hired SUV and a small convoy of one campaign van, two or three cars. “Yes, I know the DMK and AIADMK are spending huge money. But money is not the problem, time is the biggest problem,” said Jothimani with worry writ large over her face as she races against time to cover her sprawling constituency.