A Ramadoss

PTI | ByIndo-Asian News Service
Nov 19, 2005 04:13 PM IST

R. Anbumani or A Ramadoss, the PMK nominee in the Manomohan Singh cabinet, is better known as a green activist rather than as a politician.

R. Anbumani, the PMK nominee in the Manomohan Singh cabinet, is better known as a green activist rather than as a politician.

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The 36-year-old son of PMK founder S. Ramadoss is not a member of either house of parliament and is expected to contest for the Rajya Sabha in July.

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A medical doctor by profession, Anbumani heads the NGO Pasumai Thayagam or the Green Motherland), which has been in the forefront of campaigns for sustainable development and water and food security.

The NGO was one of the more visible groups from India at the Sustainable Development Summit in Johannesburg in September 2003.

Anbumani led his organisation from the front in a series of campaigns for protecting temple tanks, planting trees, preserving marshlands and discouraging the use of tobacco.

He became the party's organising secretary only on May 16,2004 though he was in charge of the party's election campaign that helped it bag all the six seats that it contested.

His entry into active politics is seen by some as an atonement for the environmental damage that the Vanniyar Sangam, a caste-based organisation that Ramdoss founded and which later became PMK, caused through its notorious road blockade agitation in mid-1990s, felling hundreds of trees across roads to stop traffic.

Anbumani was the bulwark of the party's defence to the attack by fans of cine star Rajnikant, who were retaliating against an earlier stir by the party against the actor's movies to protest against his allegedly unsavoury remarks about the PMK.

While the son was straddling environmental activism and local politics, his father has taken him to the corridors of power in Delhi through shrewd alliances.

The PMK cadres in Tamil Nadu say that the "good doctor" has established his credentials in the state, well before the nation gets to know him as a minister.

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