CHENNAI: Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam' son, P. Ravindranath and six sitting MPs, including Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M. Thambidurai, were nominated to the April 18 Lok Sabha elections by the ruling AIADMK on Sunday evening. The party has fielded 14 news faces.
On a day marked by hectic political activity, AIADMK which announced the constituencies from which the party and its allies would contest in the Lok Sabha election, in the morning, came out with the list of its candidates on Sunday evening.
Sitting MPs: P. Venugopal, Dr. J. Jayavardhan, K. Maragadham. V. Elumalai, C. Mahendran and M. Thambidurai are among the six MPs who have been renominated. Deputy Chief Minister’s son P. Ravindranath will contest from Theni.
The party has fielded P. H. Manoj Pandian, for the Tirunelveli constituency. The party has also announced candidates for the 18 Assembly constituencies.
Kanimozhi (daughter of late CM M. Karunanidhi), Dr. Kalanidhi Veerasamy, (son of former minister Arcot Veerasamy), Dayanidhi Maran, (son of late Union minister Murasoli Maran), and Tamilachi Thangapandian (daughter of former minister Thangapandian), Kadhir Anand (son of DMK treasurer Duraimurugan) for Vellore and Gautama Sigamani (son of former DMK minister K. Ponmudi) for Kallakurichi, are second-generation candidates.
The heavy weights who have been fielded include: former Union minister T. R. Baalu - Sriperumbudur, former union minister S. Jagathrakshakan - Arakkonam, former union minister A. Raja - Nilgiris (SC) and former union minister S. S. Palanimanikam for Thanjavur. Kanimozhi whose Rajya Sabha terms ends in July this year, is contesting for the first time.
Of the 20 candidates, 18 are graduates, doctors, engineers, lawyers and commerce graduates. The youngest among them is Dhanush M. Kumar (42) contesting from Tenkasi reserved constituency and the oldest is former Union minister T.R. Baalu, 78, contesting from Sriperumbudur constituency.
The list of candidates released by Stalin includes 13 new faces. Selvam will contest from Kancheepuram, Dhanush Kumar - Tenkasi, Gnanathriviam: Tirunelveli, Kadhir Anand: Vellore, Senthil Kumar: Dharmapuri, Annadurai: Tiruvannamalai, Gautam Sigamani: Kallakurichi, Parthiban: Salem, Shanmugasndaram: Pollachi, Velusamy: Dindigul, Ramesh: Cuddalore and Ramalingam: Mayiladuthurai.
Parthiban was a former DMDK MLA (2011-16) and represented Mettur constituency in Salem district. He had quit the Vijayakanth-led party to form the Makakl DMDK and later joined the DMK.
Stalin released the list of candidates after visiting the mausoleum of his late father and party patriarch M. Karunanidhi at the Marina beach here. He placed the list on the floor and paid floral tributes, to seek the late leader’s blessings.
The following is the list of candidates for the by-poll to the 18 Assembly constituencies: Perambur: Sekhar, Thiruporur: Ithiyavarman, Sholingur: Asokan, Gudiyatham (SC): Kathavarayan, Ambur: Vilvanathan, Hosur: Sathya, Pappireddipatti: Mani, Harur (SC): Krishnakumar, Nilakottai (SC): Soundarpandian, Tiruvarur: Poondi Kalaivanan, Thanjavur: Neelamegham, Manamadurai (SC): Ilakyadasan, Andipatti: Maharajan, Periyakulam (SC): Saravana Kumar, Paramakudi (SC): Sampath Kumar, Sattur: Srinivasan, Vilathikulam: Jayakumar, and Puducherry: Thattanchavadi Venkatesan.
Only eight constituencies will see arch-rivals DMK and AIADMK crossing swords directly. If Indiya Jananayaga Katchi (Perambalur) and Kongunadu Makkal Desiya Katchi (Namakkal), who will contest with their partner DMK’s rising sun symbol and Puthiya Needhi Katchi (Vellore) that will fight in the two leaves symbol of its ally AIADMK is considered, then the clash between the two Dravidian majors will be seen in 11 Lok Sabha seats.
Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam released the list in presence of Chief Minister K Palaniswami and BJP Tamil Nadu president Tamilisai Soundararajan.
The AIADMK leaders hailed the alliance as a “victorious” one, while BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan said people wanted “Modi again”, adding that the opposition was indulging only in negative propaganda. Puthiya Needhi Katchi leader A C Shanmugam was also present during announcement of the list. Raising eyebrows, leaders of other alliance parties, including PMK, DMDK and Puthiya Tamizhagam, did not take part in the event held to release the list of constituencies....