Debating India

TAMIL NADU

AIADMK fields new faces

Friday 28 April 2006

Tiruchi Bureau

In Tiruchi, Pudukottai, Karur and Perambalur; Labour Welfare Minister out of race

TIRUCHI: The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has fielded new faces in 13 out of the 16 seats in Tiruchi, Pudukottai and Perambalur districts.

All the six sitting MLAs, including Labour Welfare Minister P. Annavi in Tiruchi district, four in Perambalur, including the Deputy Speaker, A. Arunachalam and two in Pudukottai district are out of the race this time.

The party has re-nominated only two sitting MLAs - Fisheries Minister, M. Radhakrishnan from Thirumayam and former Minister, A. Venkatachalam from Alangudi, both in Pudukottai district, again.

The AIADMK had six members in the present Assembly from Tiruchi district, all of whom are out of the race. The Thottiyam constituency, from where Labour Welfare Minister, P. Annavi was elected in 2001, has been this time allotted to the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK). Former Ministers, K. K. Balasubramaniam (Srirangam) and R. Saroja (Uppiliapuram-ST), were among the other five sitting MLAs of the party denied ticket this time.

The AIADMK is contesting from six of the nine seats in Tiruchi district, leaving two to the MDMK and Tiruverumbur assembly segment to the Mooventhar Munnetra Kazhagam.

The Chairman of the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation and the rural district secretary of the party, M. Paranjothi, who has been fielded from Srirangam, is the only old face in the AIADMK list.

He unsuccessfully contested in the 1996 Assembly elections from Srirangam and the 2004 Parliamentary elections from Tiruchi seat.

Another prominent figure to find a place in the ruling party list is N. Mariam Pitchai, former secretary of the urban district unit of the party, who has been fielded from Tiruchi-II.

The other three candidates Rajaram (Lalgudi), Chinnasamy (Marungapuri), Muthusamy (Uppiliapuram) and Poonatchi are also new faces.

In Pudukottai district, the party has fielded new faces, R. Nedunchezian (Pudukottai), N. Subramanian (Kolathur) and P. M. Periasamy (Aranthangi), thus denying tickets to the sitting MLAs, C. Vijayabhaskar (Pudukottai) and Karuppayi (Kolathur).

In Perambalur district, the Deputy Speaker, A. Arunachalam, elected from the Varahur (res) seat and three other MLAs have been denied party ticket. While M. Sundaram, a medical practitioner, who unsuccessfully contested from the Perambalur (res) seat against the Union Forest and Environment Minister, A. Raja in the 2004 Parliamentary elections, is the AIADMK candidate now, the district secretary of the party and Chairman of the Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation, M. Ravichandran will contest from Ariyalur. M. Chandrakasi (Varahur-res), M. K. Panneerselvam (Andimadam) and K. Rajendran (Jayamkondam) are all new faces to the electoral battle.

Karur

The party has roped in a new face for Karur, while sitting MLAs have been retained as candidates for the Kulithalai and Krishnarayapuram (Reserved) constituencies for the forthcoming Assembly elections.

The choice of the up and coming district secretary of the party student’s wing, Senthil Balaji, a greenhorn in political scene, is seen by the partymen here as the best bet to counter any strong DMK candidate.

Mr. Balaji has consistently tried to be in the limelight for the better part of the last year, besides belonging to Kongu Vellala Goundar community, which has a mammoth presence here.

For the Kulithalai constituency, the Chief Minister and party general secretary, Jayalalithaa had retained her confidence in the sitting MLA, A. Pappa Sundaram.

While he was for some time minister in her cabinet, the fact that he belongs to the dominant Reddiar community, adds to his strength.

But he might be weighed down by the Meenakshi case, though no direct linkage has been established so far.

The case was recently transferred to the CBI. A veteran politician, he represents the old guard of the party.

But for Krishnarayapuram (Reserved) constituency, the desire to field the sitting MLA, Sasikala Ravi again is again seen as a mixed fortune. She had completed the allotted development works in her constituency, but had also gleaned some criticism from the local partymen over the past couple of years.

Nevertheless, local partymen still believe that a `powerful’ backing has seen her through to contest again from the constituency.

The other Assembly constituency, Aravakurichi, has been allotted to the MDMK.

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