Chennai: While a popular adage says ‘politics is the last resort of scoundrels’, the candidates lists of the AIADMK, DMK, AMMK, PMK, DMDK, BJP and MNM for the Lok Sabha elections suggest it has also become the first resort of professionals.
Many doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs and MBAs are among the contestants of these parties, a straight contrast to the past when school dropouts dominated the contestants lists, with the only exception being the advocates who have always had close links with politics.
There are two physicians (P Venugopal and J Jayavardhan) and three MBAs (M Saravanan, V V R Raj Sathyan and P Ravindranath Kumar) in the AIADMK list.
The DMK has fielded two doctors (Kalanithi Veerasami, Gautham Sigamani), three doctorates (S Jagathrakshakan, Tamizhachi Thangapandian and Karu Kasilingam), an engineer-MBA graduate (K S Saravanakumar) and an MBA degree holder (Sampathkumar). And we know the entrepreneurial abilities of the DMK’s Central Chennai candidate Dayanidhi Maran, an economics graduate and a Harvard alumnus.
The list of T T V Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK), too, is full of educated candidates, with the prominent faces being former minister Isakki Subbaiah, who holds a doctorate, and former Tiruchi Mayor Charubala Thondaiman who is an MA, M.Phil.
Kamal Haasan’s fledgling Makkal Needhi Maiam has fielded retired IPS officer A G Mourya, former district judge K Guruviah, Australia-based physician M Logarangan, two more doctors R Sudhakar and M A S Subramanian, engineers, advocates and MBAs.
Notable professionals in other parties include Dr Anbumani Ramadoss (PMK), entrepreneur-educationist Sam Paul (PMK), Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan (BJP) and Dr V Ilangovan (DMDK).
A DMK leader, part of the candidate selection process, says, “Thalapathi (party president M K Stalin) was very particular about the credentials of the contestants. He gave importance to the educated, but ensured that others were also not left out.”
According to an AIADMK leader, “Right from Amma’s days, professionals have found a place in our party candidates list. The present Tamilnadu Cabinet has three doctors (Health Minister C Vijaya Bhaskar, Social Welfare and Nutritious Noon Meal Programme Minister V Saroja and Labour Minister Nilofer Kafeel) and many other well-educated persons. The list for Lok Sabha elections also follows the same style.”