The fight in Tamil Nadu’s Thondamuthur Assembly constituency will be between the incumbent Minister for Municipal Administration and AIADMK heavyweight SP Velumani, and DMK’s Karthikeya Sivasenapathy, who is the Managing Trustee of the Senaapathy Kangayam Cattle Research Foundation, a non-profit organisation working on conservation of native cattle breeds.
Karthikeya Sivasenapathy first shot to fame during the Marina Jallikattu protests in 2017. He was one of the people instrumental in organising the protest against the ban on Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu — which successfully ended in an ordinance passed by the state government, allowing the sport. But Marina was not the first time Karthikeya has spoken out in support of Jallikattu — he has been vocal against the opposition to the bull taming sport since 2013.
He joined the DMK in November 2020 after meeting the party’s president MK Stalin. On joining the DMK, he said that his aim is to spread the contribution of the DMK to the Kongu region, where reservation and other policies have played a major role in development. He had also sought a DMK ticket in 2016 Assembly polls but did not get it.
Vocal about the development Dravidian politics has brought to Tamil Nadu, Karthikeya also said that the social justice and inclusive elements of the Dravidian movement are what have ensured development in the state, unlike states in north India.
Karthikeya Sivasenapathy has also been vocal against the Hindi imposition on states by the Union government. In an earlier interview to TNM, he said, “During the Constituent Assembly debates, when it was proposed to have a national language, there were huge oppositions from Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, etc. They said that there is no need for a national language, but just a link language, which will be English. It was agreed that there will be two official languages, Hindi and English.” Adding that the BJP-led Union government is spending a lot of money to establish chairs for Hindi and Sanskrit around the world, he questioned what the BJP has done for the development of languages like Tamil, Telugu or Malayalam.
Karthikeya Sivasenapathy will face SP Velumani in Coimbatore’s Thondamuthur Assembly constituency. SP Velumani first tasted victory in Thondamuthur constituency in 2011. He was then fielded in the same constituency in 2016, where he won with a margin of over 60,000 votes and is now the sitting MLA from Thondamuthur. In 2021, SP Velumani will contest from the same constituency for the third time.