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Pawan Dixit, Hindustan Times
Varanasi, April 23, 2014
PN Ramachandran, the nephew of sandalwood smuggler Veerappan, filed his nomination papers from the Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency on Monday. The 34-year-old Ramachandran is the son of Veerappan’s sister and a native of Nagamarai Puture, Dharamapuri district in Tamil Nadu. He reached Varanasi on Monday to file his nomination papers and then left the city.

A die-hard Narendra Modi fan, Ramachandra avoided questions about his notorious uncle and said contesting against high-profile candidates is his “hobby”.

“I am not competing against anyone. I contest elections against renowned candidates,” Ramachandran said, adding that he wanted Modi to become the next PM. Narendra Modi has the potential to take the country ahead. He is the most suitable person for the PM’s post,” he said. 

He is also contesting against Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi. 

“I always wanted to visit Kashi on a pilgrimage but never knew that one day I would file nomination papers from here,” he said.

Ramachandran, a farmer who passed class 12 from a local government school in Dharmapuri, grew up in his hometown Nagamarai Puture and has contested parliamentary elections in the past also in Tamil Nadu. 

“For us Kashi is the holiest of all Hindu pilgrimage centres. So, I did not want to miss the opportunity to contest elections from here,” said Ramachandran.