DMK candidate and Chief Minister Karunanidhi's son M K Azhagiri is contesting the Lok Sabha polls for the first time and the party has rallied it behind him but his controversial image, coupled with local issues like the price rise and power cut, may affect his prospects.
Once labelled a "by-election specialist", Azhagiri, who steered the party to victory in three by-polls in Madurai district since the DMK came to the power in 2007, has himself taken a plunge from Madurai now against main rival and sitting MP of the CPI(M) P Mohan.
Azhagiri, who has courted controversies too often, says he is in the field according to the "direction of the party high command".
Already, the candidate of the CPI(M), a constituent of the AIADMK-led front, has lodged complaints with electoral authorities about money distributions by the DMK among voters in the build-up to this election on May 13.
Acting on the complaints, a three-member team of the Election Commission held a review meeting in Chennai and directed the Tamil Nadu government to transfer Madurai Police Commissioner K Nandabalan following the complaints of money distribution.