Come election time, some men and their machines become inseparable. Political leaders depend on their vehicles to undertake long and time-consuming journeys covering every nook and cranny of the State for their election campaign. Campaign vehicles play an important role in canvassing votes from the masses and so the vehicles are fitted with various amenities to make the political leaders, who spend time hitting the road, to have a comfortable journey.
While Chennai proudly claims to be the Detroit of the country, with multiple auto manufacturers, and one entire road engaged in selling all kinds of vehicle accessories at General Patters Road (G.P. Road), political leaders prefer to take their vehicles to Coimbatore to retrofit them with all necessities for a comfortable campaign journey. Here too, one company – Koyas and Sons – is the destination for many politicians to modify the campaign vehicles of political leaders for undertaking a whirlwind tour.
A gamut of political leaders, including Jayalalithaa, M. Karunanidhi, M.K. Stalin and others in the State, have been part of Koyas’ customer list. The standard campaign vehicles would be fitted with speakers, cordless mike and comfortable seats.
P.V. Mohammed Riaz, proprietor of the company, said their company has been the favourite for all the political leaders for customising not only election campaign vehicles but also personal vehicles, over the years.
He said the reason their automobile workshop had become the preferred destination was excellent quality of the upholstery, which are normally done in-house using state-of-the-art machinery, and also for executing any type of customisation. He remembers the customisation of hydraulic seat done for DMK leader M. Karunanidhi.
Mr. Riaz said vehicles of all types, such as Tata Sumo, Bolero and Isuzu, would be used by second-rung leaders for re-modification and for the party leaders of leading parties, Tempo Traveller is the most used vehicle.
However, while all the political leaders have been the customers of Koyas, T.T.V. Dhinakaran is the only leader who has customised his vehicle through some other company.
A party person close to Mr. Dhinakaran said the vehicle, which has been customised through a third party, had been fitted with a toilet, television set, a small bed and a sofa for having a small meeting. The highlight of the vehicle is that the stand has been fitted with a hydraulic lift for the AMMK leader to address the gathering through the sun roof.