Chennai: I feel proud that I am contesting from the constituency where former DMK Stalwarts C N Annadurai and Murasoli Maran were elected, says Thamizhachi Thangapandian, about being nominated from the South Chennai constituency.
In an interview with News Today she speaks about her political entry, why people should vote for her and her plans for the constituency.
Here are the excerpts from the interview.
Q. At what point in your life did you decide to make your political entry?
A. You cannot separate politics from my life. I am hailing from an established political family. My father served as an ordinary member of the DMK since 1949. He was a Minister in the DMK government during 1996-97. My brother Thangam Thennarasu, sitting MLA representing Thiruchuli constituency, was School Education Minister during the period 2006-11.
Q. Why did you choose South Chennai constituency?
A. I have been living in Neelangarai since 1987 and I know every nook and corner in this constituency. I understand the problems and challenges of the people. What is important is how we are going to serve the people and represent them in the Parliament. Around 90 per cent of Chennai’s population has migrated from different parts of Tamilnadu at different points of time. Interestingly, most of them have settled in South Chennai constituency. It is a melting pot of various cultural and socio-economic groups.
Q.You are competing against a sitting MP, how confident are you of winning?
A. In a way, the sitting MP’s non-performance has made it easier for me. When I began my campaign, I was shocked to learn that many people didn’t even know his name. The biggest problem with the AIADMK is that their leaders are always unapproachable, whereas, our party president M K Stalin and other leaders can be contacted very easily. As a diligent party worker for many years, I am humbled by the fact that I too have inherited this quality.
Q. Do you feel that the toll charge at OMR needs to be removed?
A. Collecting toll charge from the residents at OMR is not acceptable and if elected, I shall make every effort to remove this.
Q. What are the steps that you will take to ensure the safety of the women in IT corridor?
A. Women’s safety and creating safe spaces for them to express themselves are something I hold close to my heart and I would work towards executing them. My party’s election manifesto also clearly mentioned that in order to ensure the job security to IT/ITES employees, and also the safety and equality for women employees, the DMK will urge the Central government to ensure enactment of suitable legal provision including constitution of High Level Committees at State/National level.
Q. If elected the first major problem that you may have to address is the acute water shortage. How are you going to handle this?
A. During the DMK regime, in 2010, the then Chief Minister Karunanidhi initiated and laid the foundation stone for the present desalination plant at Nemmili with a capacity of 100 Million Litre per Day (MDL). Now, as soon as DMK government is formed, and I am elected to represent the people, necessary actions will be taken to speed up to erect new plants with capacity of 150 MDL at Nemmeli and another one at Perur with 400 MDL capacity.
Q. What plans do you have to restore the Pallikaranai marshland and remove the garbage dumped at Perungudi?
A. We have plans for the Perungudi dumpyard and Pallikaranai marshland already. It will be executed with the help of an expert committee. We will not stop with just getting the funds sanctioned but we will see through the execution in an expedited manner.
Q. What are the problems that you have identified and also putforth by people in the constituency and how are you going to address it?
A. At the micro level, it would be a huge government hospital with ultra-modern facilities in our constituency to take care of emergency situations and to meet other medical requirements of those living in various suburbs.
Other issues include the decongestion of the arterial OMR and ECR by extending the Metro Rail.