Three-time Rajya Sabha MP V Maitreyan has expressed his intention to contest from the Chennai Central constituency in the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections. The AIADMK leader’s tenure at the Rajya Sabha ends on 24 July 2019. However, as it appears unlikely that Maitreyan will be remonimated for a fourth term in the Upper House of Parliament, the senior leader has decided to throw his hat into the poll ring.
The AIADMK has a strength of 13 MPs in the Rajya Sabha. Besides Maitreyan, the terms of three other AIADMK MPs KR Arjunan, T Rathinavel, and Dr R Lakshmanan end in July 2019. In its recently concluded poll pact with the PMK, the AIADMK has promised seven Lok Sabha constituencies and a Rajya Sabha seat to the party led by Dr S Ramadoss. With Vijayakant’s DMDK also demanding a Rajya Sabha seat, sources say Maitreyan’s chances to be renominated appear dim.
Other AIADMK leaders who have expressed interest in contesting from the Chennai Central parliamentary constituency include former state Minister Gokula Indira and sitting MP SR Vijayakumar. SR Vijayakumar had emerged as a giant slayer in the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections defeating DMK leader and former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran by a margin of over 45,000 votes.
Earlier TNM had reported that Tamil Official Language Minister and Avadi MLA Mafoi Pandiarajan had also expressed interest in standing from Chennai Central. However, AIADMK sources had told TNM at the time that Mafoi Pandiarajan would not be given a ticket as the party could not afford to lose another MLA. The fate of the Edappadi Palaniswami government hangs in the balance with byepolls to 21 vacant Assembly seats.
The Chennai Central constituency had been a DMK bastion until 2014 with Dayanidhi’s father and former Union Minister Murasoli Maran holding the seat from 1996. Following his death, Dayanidhi who was given a DMK ticket emerged victorious in 2004 and in 2009.