After two decade-long hiatus, MDMK general secretary Vaiko will contest the May 16 Tamil Nadu Assembly polls, trying his luck from Kovilpatti constituency.
He made an announcement in this regard at an election rally on Saturday.
The announcement has come as a morale booster for party workers. “We are happy that our leader is again in the fray in the Assembly poll after 20 years,” a senior party functionary said.
In the 1996 Assembly election, just three years after founding MDMK, he had contested from Vilathikulam constituency and lost by a very narrow margin of 634 votes to DMK candidate K Ravisankar, who polled 30,190 votes.
He lost in the Lok Sabha election too that year and only emerged third by bagging 2,04,339 votes in Sivakasi seat.
Since then, Vaiko has not contested in Assembly polls though he won in Lok Sabha polls from the same Sivakasi seat in 1998 and 1999. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, he lost in Virudhunagar.
Meanwhile, the party named its nominees in 27 seats, which includes its chief Vaiko. Of the 29 seats it has been allotted in the DMDK-PWF combine, MDMK named candidates for 27 and gave away two seats from its kitty to its allies, fringe Tamil nationalist outfits.
Among the key MDMK nominees in the fray are former MLA Dr T Sadhan Thirumalai Kumar (Sankaran Kovil), Mallai Sathya (Thiruporur) Redsun Ambigapathi (Thousand Lights), K M A Nizam (Palayamkottai), R Anthiri Das (Avadi), and Murath Buhari (Harbour).
Ki Veeralakshmi, chief of Tamilar Munnetra Padai, will fight from Pallavaram constituency here. Nagai Tiruvalluvan of Tamil Puligal Katchi will try his luck from Dharapuram seat.
Both of them will contest under MDMK symbol of top.