AIADMK’s Lok Sabha candidate list out: Deputy CM OPS’ son gets Theni seat

Six of the party's sitting parliamentarians have been renominated from their current seats.
AIADMK’s Lok Sabha candidate list out: Deputy CM OPS’ son gets Theni seat
AIADMK’s Lok Sabha candidate list out: Deputy CM OPS’ son gets Theni seat
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Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister and AIADMK Coordinator O Panneerselvam’s son, P Raveendranath Kumar will be making his electoral debut as the party’s candidate from the Theni parliamentary constituency in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. His name, along with that of other Lok Sabha and assembly bye-poll candidates was released late on Sunday. The announcement was preceded by tense moments as senior leaders of the ruling party met at the party’s headquarters in Chennai’s Royapettah for last-minute discussions that lasted several hours.

Six of the party's sitting parliamentarians have been renominated from their current seats: notably, this includes South Chennai MP Jayavardhan Jayakumar, son of senior AIADMK leader and the state’s Minister for Fisheries D Jayakumar. MP Maragatham Kumaravel of Kancheepuram and MP P Venugopal of Thiruvallur. MP C Mahendran of Pollachi and V Elumalai of Arani constituencies have also retained a ticket to contest from their current seats. Quelling speculation on a ticket for party veteran and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, the announcement confirmed that he would contest, once again, from Karur. His candidacy had been closely watched, especially since he had come down heavily on the BJP, the AIADMK’s alliance partner, in recent months.

Senior party leader KP Munusamy, who was part of the AIADMK's core committee to engage in seat-sharing talks, has been rewarded with a Lok Sabha ticket to the Krishnagiri constituency. Son of AIADMK’s Madurai North MLA and Secretary of the AIADMK’s IT Wing, VVR Raj Sathyan has been given a ticket to the Madurai parliamentary constituency. In a curious coincidence, if he is successful, the IT Wing chiefs of both major parties in the state would be lawmakers from Madurai. The DMK’s IT Wing Secretary, PTR Palanivel Thiagarajan is the party’s MLA from Madurai Central.

Former state minister ‘Agri’ SS Krishnamoorthy, whose involvement in an abetment to suicide case had led to then Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa sacking him, has been given the party's Tiruvannamalai ticket. Paul Manoj Pandian, former MLA from the now non-existent Cheranmadevi assembly constituency and son of former AIADMK MLA PH Pandian, has been given the Tirunelveli Lok Sabha seat to contest. Manoj Pandian and PH Pandian were one of the first leaders to rebel against Sasikala taking over the party and government.

KRS Saravanan, the party’s zonal secretary from Salem North, is contesting the parliamentary seat from the district.

Other MP candidates are: P Kaliappan from Namakkal, MSM Anandan from Tiruppur, G Manimaran from Erode, NR Sivapathy from Perambalur, S Asaimani from Mayiladuthurai, M Saravanan from Nagapattinam(SC), P Chandrasekar from Chidambaram(SC) and M Thiagarajan from Nilgiris(SC).

The party also announced its candidates for the 18 bye-elections happening in the state simultaneously: G Vaidyanathan for Poonamallee (SC), RS Rajesh for Perambur, S Arumugam for Thiruporur, G Sampath for Sholingur, R Murthy for Gudiyattham (SC), J Jothiramalingaraja for Ambur, S Jothi(wife of former state Minister Balakrishna Reddy) Hosur, A Govindasamy for Pappireddipatti, V Sampathkumar for Harur (SC), S Thenmozhi for Nilakkottai (SC), R Jeevanandam for Thiruvarur, R Gandhi for Thanjavur, S Nagarajan for Manamadurai (SC), A Lokirajan for Andipatti, M Murugan for Periyakulam (SC), MSR Rajvarman for Sattur, Sadan Prabhakar(son of former Rajya Sabha MP S Niraikulathan) for Paramakudi (SC) and P Chinnappan for Vilathikulam.

Across the AIADMK’s Lok Sabha and bye-poll lists, there are only two women, just like the DMK.

In February, the ruling party in the state announced a ‘mega alliance’ with the national party. While it was agreed that the AIADMK will contest from 20 seats and BJP from five, PMK was allotted seven parliamentary constituencies. The seat-sharing talks, which took place over February and March, also saw the AIADMK garner assurances of support from the BJP, PMK and other parties for the 21-state bye-elections that are due in the state.

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