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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1584

TN Elections 2011: DMK releases candidates list for 119 seats-Karunanidhi from Tiruvarur, Stalin fielded in Kolathur

Sathyalaya Raamakrishnan reporting from Chennai
Chennai, 18 March, (

The ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has released its candidates list for the forthcoming assembly elections to be held in April 13. According to the list, chief minister M Karunanidhi shifted his constituency to Thiruvarur from Chepauk and his son M K Stalin leave Thousand Lights and contesting from Kolathur.

The DMK, which will contest 119 seats, has fielded 58 new faces and 11 women. Former AIADMK ministers S. Muthusamy and S. Sathiyamurthy, who recently joined the DMK, have been given nominations

Shifting from Chepauk in Chennai, once considered a DMK bastion, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M. Karunanidhi, will contest the election from his native town Tiruvarur.

Karunanidhi skips the poll in 1984

Mr. Karunanidhi has never lost an election since 1957 when he made his entry into the electoral battlefield. However, in 1984 elections Mr Karunanidhi did not contested, because his arch rival and AIADMK founder leader M G R was admitted in the US hospital and Ms Indira Gandhi was assasinated.

The Deputy Chief Minister, M. K. Stalin would also seek election from a new segment, Kolathur in the city, moving away from the Thousand Lights constituency.

Party General Secretary and senior leader, K. Anbazhgan, who currently represents Harbour constituency, has been fielded from Villivakkam.

Two senior ministers Arcot N. Veerasamy and Ko. Si. Mani have been dropped due to their ‘ill health’, Mr. Karunandihi told reporters releasing the list of candidates at the Anna Arivalayam, DMK headquarters.

New faces of 58

The party, which will contest 119 seats, has fielded 58 new faces and 11 women.
Former AIADMK ministers S. Muthusamy, S. Sathiyamurthy and P K Sekarbabu MLA who recently joined DMK, have been given nomination.

Asked whether his party would be able to get an absolute majority since it had fielded only 119 candidates in the 234- member House, Mr. Karunanidhi said “we are entering the fray with that hope.”

The DMK has allotted 63 seats to its key UPA ally Congress and rest to other partners of the front.

Asked why he chose Tiruvarur, Mr. Karunanidhi said when he entered electoral politics in 1957, he wanted to contest from there, but it was made reserved constituency by his political opponents, however, now it had been de—reserved after the recent delimitation.

“The politicians then made it as a reserved constituency to prevent me from contesting from there,” he claimed.

Mr. Karunanidhi said he would begin his campaign from Tiruvarur on March 23 and file his nomination on March 24.

86 years old political Chanakya

The 86-year-old political 'Chanakya' Mr. Karunanidhi had his education in the then district board High School at Tiruvarur and his family migrated there from his birth place, the nearby Thirukuvalai village, to enable him continue his studies.

It is at this place in 1937 that he entered public life when he led an anti-Hindi agitation.

Mr. Karunandihi was first elected to the State assembly from Kulithalai in Karur district. In 1962, he won from Thanjavur and in 1967 and 1971, he was elected from Saidapet in Chennai. He won the Annanagar seat in 1977, 1980, 1984 and 1989.

In 1991, he had contested from Harbour and got elected to the State assembly and from Chepauk in 1996, 2001 and 2006.

Mr. Stalin, who has won four out of six times that he had contested from Thousand Lights, where Mr. Karunanidhi’s Gopalapuram residence is located, has moved to suburban Kolathur in North Chennai which gave a lead of about 20,000 votes to party’s TKS ELangovan in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.

Asked what prompted Mr. Stalin to go for a change, Mr. Karunanidhi said “ask him” pointing to Mr. Stalin who only smiled.

A one-time Mayor of Chennai corporation, Mr. Stalin had been arrested by the AIADMK government for his active role in supporting the students of Queen Mary’s College in his constituency when the girls were up in arms against a proposal to demolish the popular institution.

Mr. Karunanidhi, for whom this election could perhaps be the last considering his age, has retained most of the Ministers and sitting MLAs besides giving a ticket to Tamil Nadu Speaker R Avudaiyappan who retains Ambasamudiram while his Depurty, VP Duraisamy, will be fighting from Rasipuram.

Asked about the political circumstances leading to the possible formation of a Third Front comprising DMDK and Left parties, he said “I am not the one to rejoice at the miseries of others.”

CPI (M), CPI and DMDK, allies of AIADMK, are reportedly unhappy over the lead partner’s unilaterally announcing its candidates list for 160 constituencies, several of which are on their wish list.

- Asian Tribune -

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