What makes north Chennai hotbed of politics & power?

Chennai: Like North Chennai films, the politics surrounding the area too is racy, full of twists and is mostly about one-upmanship. With AIADMK presidium chairman E Madhusudhanan, a strongman from the locality, triggering a fresh controversy by making charges against Minister and party senior D Jayakumar over the recently-concluded cooperatives elections, let’s check out what makes North Madras a hotbed of high voltage action.

HARBOUR

The Chennai port and the fishing harbours close to it provide livelihood to lakhs of families. The money and the pride involved in wielding clout over these men and material cannot be explained in words, say old-timers, recalling gang wars of those days.

Cut to present, MLAs, Minister(s) and other representatives from these areas call the shots and hence, there is always a fight for power. The Assembly constituency itself is named Harbour and it was represented in the House by heavyweights like M Karunanidhi, K Anbazhagan, Pala Karuppiah and P K Sekar Babu

ROYAPURAM

It was at Robinson Park on Royapuram’s Cemetry Road where the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam was founded by C N Annadurai. Hence, Royapuram, known for its crowded roads, closely-packed buildings and poor infrastructure, has a special place in the history of Dravidian politics. Represented multiple times in the State Assembly by D Jayakumar (sitting MLA and Minister), Royapuram constituency is dominated by ordinary people whose main job is fishing.

PERAMBUR

A mini-India that houses people from various States thanks to its proximity to Railway establishments, Perambur was a Communist stronghold till 2016, when P Vetrivel of the AIADMK tasted victory (he is however now one of the 18 MLAs who were disqualified for supporting TTV Dhinakaran). In the past, Perambur had sent prominent personalities like Satyavani Muthu, Parithi Elamvazhuthi and Chengai Sivam to the Assembly.

RK NAGAR

The cliched ‘last, but not the least’ usage would be apt to describe RK Nagar, a constituency which is in the news since 2015, when J Jayalalithaa decided to contest from here. The AIADMK supremo, who lost her Sri Rangam MLA and Chief Minister posts after she was convicted by a Bengaluru court in disproportionate assets case, chose to contest from RK Nagar after she was acquitted by another court. And the rest, as they say, is history (cliched again).

The end of last year saw newspapers and TV Channels carrying the word RK Nagar as a permanent feature, after an action-filled by-election which saw Dhinakaran emerging triumphant.

M Bhaskar Sai