An automobile workshop in Coimbatore seems to be the one thing that politicians agree upon. Many high-profile politicians get their vehicles refurbished before starting their campaign.
The workshop, Koyas and Sons, has been refurbishing vehicles since November last for this election season, says managing director P.V. Mohamed Riaz.
Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, DMK president M.K. Stalin and Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder Kamal Haasan are some of the politicians whose vehicles have been spruced up by the workshop now. In the past, it had worked on the vehicles of former Chief Ministers M. Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa.
Established in 1969 by Mr. Riaz’s father P.V. Hassan, the workshop specialises in customising maxi cabs for campaign, fitting them with revolving front seats, hydraulic and manual stages, sun-roofs and footsteps and handles for security men to hang on to.
“When a leader wants to go up and talk, he does not require to get down and go to the rear of the vehicle,” Mr. Riaz says, explaining the purpose of the revolving seats. Other facilities rigged up are rest-rooms, loudspeakers and a provision for satellite television.
The workshop also customises SUVs for leaders to campaign in remote areas. The cost of refurbishment will be around a few lakh rupees per vehicle.
So far, nearly all orders have been from Tamil Nadu, though the workshop had received orders from politicians in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, too, in the past.
Mr. Riaz has worked with many leaders. But he fondly remembers his having explained to Karunanidhi the customisations made to his vehicle to accommodate the DMK patriarch’s wheelchair during his campaign in Coimbatore. “I was in the vehicle with him,” he says with a grin.