Traffic on Panagal Road, Goripalayam junction, Gandhi Museum Road, and nearby areas was thrown out of gear for more than two hours on Monday, owing to a large number of cadre and their vehicles that gathered for the nomination filing of Madurai constituency’s AIADMK candidate V.V.R. Raj Sathyan.
While the candidate arrived at the Collectorate only past noon, traffic was blocked on Panagal Road, where Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) is located, at least an hour before. Cadres of the AIADMK and its coalition parties, who came in a large number of vehicles, gathered at the party’s office on Panagal Road.
Ambulances that wanted to reach GRH took a long time to reach the hospital since they had to manoeuvre through the stagnant traffic near Goripalayam. A group of postgraduate students of Madurai Medical College, who had to reach GRH for duty, were seen arguing with the police personnel near Anna bus stand to allow their two-wheelers.
The cadre later came in a procession, accompanied by music and dance performances of folk artistes, towards Collectorate for filing the nomination. While only the permissible number of people accompanied the candidate during the submission of nomination papers, the cadre remained assembled on Panagal Road for more than 30 minutes even after the filing was over.
After filing nomination, Mr. Sathyan and few other functionaries addressed the public as part of their election campaign near Tiruvalluvar statue on Collector’s Office Road, during which time the cadre and their vehicles assembled within the restricted 200-metre zone marked from the office of the Returning Officer of the constituency.
At least one private ambulance that came on Collector’s Office road to join Panagal Road, during the campaign speech, was seen struggling to take a U-turn to go via an alternative route.
The campaign procession, which included vehicles that did not have passes issued by election officials, went via K.K. Nagar, where the candidate; Cooperation Minister ‘Sellur’ K. Raju; and other functionaries garlanded the statue of former Chief Minister M.G. Ramachandran at the Melur Road intersection. It can be noted that the party colours and symbol present on the statue has been kept hidden by election officials after the model code of conduct came into force.