Big shoes to fill: DMK fields Poondi Kalaivanan from Thiruvarur, AIADMK gives RK Nagar to RS Rajesh

Here is a look at where the two former chief ministers M Karunanidhi and J Jayalalitha contested and who have been fielded to fill their absence.
Assembly election in Tamil Nadu has been scheduled for April 6 and the counting of votes will be done on May 2.(PTI)
Assembly election in Tamil Nadu has been scheduled for April 6 and the counting of votes will be done on May 2.(PTI)
Published on Mar 18, 2021 10:17 AM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com | Written by Srivatsan K C, New Delhi

Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu have been a power struggle between the two Dravidian majors, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), from 1967 and the people of the southern state have elected either of the parties to power since then. However, the two parties would go to the polls in the upcoming assembly elections on April 6 without their veteran leaders, M Karunanidhi (DMK) and J Jayalalithaa (AIADMK).

After the demise of Jayalalithaa in 2016 and Karunanidhi in 2018, these parties will contest the assembly elections under new leadership. DMK chief MK Stalin, Karunanidhi’s son and political successor, has consolidated his position as the party’s leader. The ruling AIADMK, however, witnessed a few power tussles before settling under the combined leadership of chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam. And the party has successfully completed its term in the assembly without Jayalalithaa.

Also read | Tamil Nadu assembly polls: Which way will Dravidian politics swing in 2021?

Here is a look at where the two former chief ministers contested and who have been fielded to fill their absence:

M Karunanidhi

After winning his first seat in 1957, Karunanidhi was a part of every assembly election in the state except in 1984 when he decided not to contest. In the elections of 2011 and 2016, Karunanidhi contested from the Thiruvarur constituency, which he won both times. Before that, he had won thrice from the Chepauk constituency (now Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni) in Chennai.

Poondi Kalaivanan of the DMK won the Tiruvarur constituency in the 2019 by-election held after Karunanidhi died. The incumbent MLA has again been given the seat by the party for the 2021 election. Meanwhile, the DMK has decided to field the party’s youth wing secretary and Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi Stalin in Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni, historically a stronghold, on his debut assembly election.

J Jayalalithaa

The six-time chief minister of Tamil Nadu won her first assembly seat in 1989 contesting on behalf of a faction of the AIADMK which she led, called the AIADMK (Jayalalithaa Faction). Srirangam in the Tiruchirappalli district gave the vote of confidence to Jayalalitha in the 2011 assembly elections. Party leader KP Krishnan, who won the Alangudi constituency in 2011, has been fielded from the seat for the upcoming polls. However, Srirangam and RK Nagar have both remained favourable to the AIADMK electorally.

Jayalalithaa contested and won from the Dr Radhakrishnan Nagar constituency in Chennai, popularly known as RK Nagar, in the 2016 assembly election. After she died, expelled AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran won the seat in a by-poll conducted in 2017 as an independent candidate. He later formed the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) party in 2018. For the 2021 polls, the AIADMK has fielded RS Rajesh from the RK Nagar seat.

Contesting from where Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa won in the past many times is daunting and how the parties fare in these seats could be known only after the votes are counted on May 2.

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Thursday, December 02, 2021