Considered a DMK bastion, the North Chennai Lok Sabha constituency, with the largest number of voters, will face a straight fight.Updated: Apr 03, 2004 13:50 IST
Considered a DMK bastion, the North Chennai Lok Sabha constituency, with the largest number of voters, will face a straight fight between DMK veteran trade unionist C Kuppusamy and BJP's national executive member Sukumaran Nambiar who is trying his luck for the second time now.
Right from 1957, this constituency, with voter strength of over 20 lakh, has elected DMK nominees eight times out of 12 elections to the Lok Sabha. While an independent candidate won in 1957, a Congress candidate wrested the seat in 1962.
In the next five elections -- from 1967 to 1984 -- only the DMK captured the seat and again three times in 1996, 1998 and 1999. The Congress-AIADMK supported United Communist party of India (UCPI) candidate won the seat in 1989 and in 1991.
In the last Lok sabha polls in 1999, Kuppusamy defeated CPI-M candidate by a margin of 1.60 lakh votes. CPI-M was an ally of the AIADMK-led front then.
While 77-year-old Kuppusamy is seeking election for the third time in a row, BJP, a foe-turned-friend of the AIADMK, has chosen to field Sukumaran Nambiar, son of a veteran Tamil film character actor of yesteryear, M N Nambiar.
Sukumaran Nambiar made his unsuccessful electoral debut from Tiruchhirappalli by-election to the Lok Sabha in 2001. The by-poll was caused by the death of former Union Minister, Rangarajan Kumaramangalam.
The North Chennai constituency is dominated by fishermen, Muslims, Christians and dalits. Since many of the industrial establishments are situated in this constituency, it has a sizeable workers' strength.
DMK has chosen to field Kuppusamy for the third time in a row, considering the influence he commands among the working class. Being President of the labour wing of the DMK (known as Labour Progressive Front), he had worked as a railway employee for nearly 25 years.
Royapuram, Harbour, Radhakrishnan Nagar, Perambur, Tiruvottiyur and Villivakkam (the biggest assembly constituency in the state) form part of the North Chennai Lok Sabha constituency.