Kanimozhi to contest from Thoothukudi, DMK seals pact with VCK, CPI
DMK’s face in the national capital and late Dravidian patriarch Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi has jumped into the fray for the Lok Sabha elections, seeking to contest from the southern port town of Thoothukudi.Updated: Mar 04, 2019 20:48 IST
DMK’s face in the national capital and late Dravidian patriarch Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi has jumped into the fray for the Lok Sabha elections, seeking to contest from the southern port town of Thoothukudi.
“I have applied to contest from Thoothukkudi Lok Sabha seat. If the party gives me the opportunity, I will definitely enter the fray and win the seat,” Kanimozhi told the media after submitting her application.
A Rajya Sabha member, Kanimozhi’s term comes to an end this June and this is the first time that she is testing the poll waters.
Thoothukudi is a constituency she has nurtured and where the DMK’s women’s face has allocated a lion’s share of the MPLADS resources. More importantly, it is located in a region where the mercantile Nadar community, an OBC caste, is numerically dominant. Her mother Rajathi is from the Nadar community.
“Kanimozhi will win by a handsome margin and will play a crucial role in the government formation at the Centre,” DMK heavyweight Anita Radhakrishnan, a DMK leader from Thoothukudi, said.
According to party sources, given the competition in the party to secure the ticket for Thoothukudi, Kanimozhi’s nomination will help the DMK in containing the internal rift and present a united face.
“Kanimozhi is our candidate. She has taken special care of Thoothukudi and has sanctioned many projects under the MPLADS, which will stand her in good stead,” says Geetha Jeevan, another DMK leader from Thoothukudi, a former minister.
Further, anti-incumbency is more visible in this coastal constituency. The anti-Sterlite movement and police firing on protesters demanding permanent closure of the copper smelter plant in which 13 people were killed last May should help her candidacy.
Menawhile, the DMK also finalised the seat-sharing pact with the Dalit party, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) of Thol Thirumavalavan, and the CPI, allotting two seats each.
The party clinched an agreement with the Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi (IJK) of TR Pachamuthu, the chancellor of SRM University, and has given one seat to it. The IJK, a long time ally of the BJP, had quit the AIADMK-BJP alliance saying its presence had become untenable with the entry of the OBC-Vanniyar dominant Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK).
“We cannot be in an alliance where the PMK is a constituent. The PMK has harassed us and milked our institutions to the hilt,” Pachamuthu told the media.
The DMK’s seat-sharing negotiations with the CPI(M) and the MDMK of Vaiko still remain inconclusive. Both the parties, which have sailed with the DMK for long, are hopeful of firming up an agreement in the next two days.
In the AIADMK camp, there is a renewed urgency to conclude the pact with the DMDK of actor Vijayakanth, who remains a fence sitter till now. Vijayakanth has called for a conclave of party honchos on Tuesday to discuss the issue.
Ahead of that crucial meeting, deputy chief minister and ruling AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam called on Vijayakanth and expressed confidence of the DMDK joining the AIADMK-BJP alliance.