Mani Shankar Aiyar, Vaiko go crashing down
Mani Shankar Aiyar of the Congress and MDMK leader and ‘champion’ of the Tamil Eelam cause, Mr. Vaiko, today crashed out of the race for Parliament from Tamil Nadu. MR Venkatesh reports.india Updated: May 16, 2009 16:07 IST
In shocking and upset defeats, Union Minister for Panchayati Raj and one of the most articulate leaders of the Congress, Mani Shankar Aiyar and the MDMK leader and ‘champion’ of the Tamil Eelam cause, Mr. Vaiko, on Saturday crashed out of the race for Parliament from Tamil Nadu.
MR Aiyar, a sitting MP, was defeated by Mr. O. S. Maniyan in the Mayiladuthurai Lok Sabha constituency in Nagapattinam district by a margin of 36,000 votes. The detailed results are awaited. Mr. Aiyar had defeated Mr. Maniyan, the Nagapattinam District Secretary of the AIADMK, in the 2004 LS polls by a huge margin of 2.15 lakh votes. Apparently, the Congress stand on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue had cost Mr. Aiyar his seat now, his constituency falling in a coastal tract.
Even more surprising was the defeat of Mr. Vaiko, in Virdhunagar, down South, the home-place of late Congress veteran K Kamaraj. The MDMK leader lost to a little known Delhi-based Tamil lawyer of the Congress, Mr. Manik Tagore by a small margin of 15,764 votes. Full voting details are awaited.
While Vaiko himself complained that “money power of the ruling DMK” had played “havoc” in his constituency causing his defeat, the actor-turned-politician, Vijakanat’s DMDK nominee, Mr. ‘Mafoi’ K Pandiyarajan, a Management Consultant by profession, also considerably cut into the AIADMK-alliance votes resulting in Vaiko’s narrow defeat.