Chennai: The ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK in Tamilnadu will face off in eight seats for the coming Lok Sabha elections.
The arch rivals will be contesting 20 seats each as they have allotted the remaining 19 to their respective allies for the upcoming polls. Both will be in a straight contest in South Chennai, Kancheepuram (SC), Tiruvannamalai, Tirunelveli, Mayiladuthurai, Salem, Nilgiris (SC) and Pollachi.
Both AIADMK and DMK announced their candidates lists on Sunday and they comprise several prominent personalities, including Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai of AIADMK and Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi of DMK. Kanimozhi would be testing her fortunes in the Lok Sabha elections for the first time, though she had represented Parliament as a Rajya Sabha member.
While Thambidurai will seek re-election from Karur, while P Venugopal and J Jeyavardhan – MPs from Tiruvallur (SC) and South Chennai, respectively – will contest from the same constituencies as the last time. Deputy Chief Minister and AIADMK coordinator O Panneerselvam’s son P Ravindranath Kumar will contest from Theni constituency.
AIADMK’s list includes the following: Senior leader K P Munsamy; Agri SS Krishnamurthi and M S M Anandan for Tiruvannamalai and Tirupur constituencies, respectively; N R Sivapathi (Perambalur); P H Manoj Pandian (Tirunelveli); S Asaimani (Mayiladuthurai), Po Chandrasekar (Chidambaram-SC) are the prominent names other candidates.
A list of 18 candidates for the Assembly bypolls was also released by the ruling party. AIADMK’s ally PMK also released its list for five of the seven Lok Sabha seats allotted to it: Anbumani Ramadoss is being fielded from Dharmapuri again, while former Union minister A K Moorthy will contest from Arakkonam.
It is to be noted that the opposition party has fielded a total of 12 fresh candidates for this elections. DMK chief Stalin had released the list of candidates after visiting the memorial of his late father and party patriarch M Karunanidhi at the Marina beach. Dayanidhi Maran would be contesting from Central Chennai, while A Raja from Nilgiris (SC) and T R Baalu from Sriperumbudur constituencies, which they had won in 2009.
Also, the DMK has named its candidates for bypolls in 18 assembly constituencies which will be held along with the Lok Sabha polls on 18 April.
Former union ministers S Jagathrakshakan and S S Palanimanickam have been fielded from Arakkonam and Thanjavur constituencies. T Sumathi alias Tamizhachi Thangapandian, a noted Tamil orator, will contest from Chennai South, Kalanidhi Veerasamy from Chennai North and D M Kathir Anand, son of party treasurer Durai Murugan, from Vellore.
Other candidates of the DMK-led Secular Progressive Alliance are as follows: Gowtham Sigamani (Kallakurichi), G Selvam (Kancheepuram-SC), S Senthilkumar (Dharmapuri), C N Annadurai (Tiruvannamalai), S R Parthiban (Salem), K Shanmugasundaram (Pollachi), P Velusamy (Dindigul), T R V S Sriramesh (Cuddalore), S Ramalingam (Mayiladuthurai), Dhanush M Kumar (Thenkasi-SC), and S Gnanathiraviam (Tirunelveli).