Coimbatore: Industrialist K Maniraj entered the election fray by filing his nomination papers on Tuesday to contest from Singanallur constituency as an independent.
The 58-year-old resident of Cheran Managar, which falls under Kavundampalayam constituency, has chosen Singanallur as his battleground because of the presence of about 1.5 lakh micro, small and medium enterprises in the assembly constituency. Singanallur is home to several foundries, pump set makers and grinder players.
“I am contesting on behalf of the industrialists. I am entering the poll fray as I want to voice their concerns directly in the assembly. None of the politicians has spoken for us before,” Maniraj said.
Pointing out that the industries had undergone a lot of struggle during the lockdown, he said the state government was not even ready to waive off electricity bills or allow them to pay the same in instalments for the months they didn’t function.
“Apart from providing additional loan with interest, the Union government has not helped us in any way. We had made several representations for a helping hand, but in vain. But all the political parties are willing to offer freebies to grab power. Apart from issuing statements, none of the political parties had stood by us during difficult times,” he said.
Maniraj said he was contesting as an independent as he didn’t want to be named as a party man and address the party’s issues. “I had received offers from several political parties. I am confident of winning the election, as I have the support of my peers and the public, who are disappointed with the political parties.”
He said it was Kovai Power Driven Pumps and Spares’ Manufacturers Association members who helped with the nomination fees of Rs 10,000. He is the president of the association. He filed the nomination papers at the east zone corporation office.