DMK released its full list of candidates on Friday, choosing to field a number of its heavyweights and sitting MLAs in tried and tested constituencies. While DMK President MK Stalin will contest from Kolathur for the third time, his son Udhayanidhi Stalin will be making his electoral debut from Chepauk- Thiruvallikeni Assembly constituency, once held by former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, in the April 6 Assembly elections.
DMK will contest in 173 seats in the Assembly elections. However, together with its allies, many of whom are contesting on the rising sun symbol, the DMK will be indirectly contesting in 187 constituencies - the highest since 1989.
Flanked by DMK General Secretary Durai Murugan on one side and Treasurer TR Baalu on the other side, DMK President MK Stalin released the list of candidates who will contest in the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu on Friday. Speaking to reporters, Stalin said that this is not just a list of candidates but is a list of the winners in the upcoming elections. He added that the Secular Progressive Alliance is not an electoral alliance but an alliance of ideologies.
A number of sitting MLAs have been retained their seats including former Minister Durai Murugan (Katpadi), Anbil Mahesh (Thiruverumbur), P Thiaga Rajan (Madurai Central), TRB Rajaa (Mannargudi).
In southern districts former Minister Poongothai Aladi Aruna has retained Alangulam, Geetha Jeevan has retained Thoothukudi, Anita Radhakrishnan Tiruchendur, and N Suresh Rajan Nagercoil.
Ku Sampath Kumar will contest against Chief Minister Palaniswami in Edappadi constituency, while Thanga Tamil Selvan will face off against Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam. In Viralimalai constituency, the DMK has fielded M Palaniappan who will contest against the state minister for health and family welfare C Vijayabaskar. Another high octane contest is likely to come up in Thondamuthur constituency where DMKâ€™s Karthikeya Sivasenapathy, who shot to fame during the 2017 Jallikattu protests will face off against the state minister for municipal administration SP Velumani. DMKâ€™s Senthil Balaji, who is the sitting MLA from Aravakurichi, will contest against the state minister for transport MR Vijayabaskar in Karur Assembly constituency.
Notably, the partyâ€™s youth secretary and son of MK Stalin will be contesting from Chepauk-Triplicane as earlier speculated. Stalin himself will be contesting from Kolathur. Thanga Tamilselvan, who moved from AMMK to DMK will be contesting against O Paneerselvam in Theni districtâ€™s Bodinayakanur. In Edappadi meanwhile, the DMK has fielded a fresh face - Sampath Kumar against Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami.
The party has given chances to at least 50 new faces in the 173 seats. Stalin will be filing nominations on March 15 and will then continue his next leg of campaigning