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Monday, April 06, 2009

DMK releases list of candidates

CHENNAI: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s son and DMK south zone organising secretary M.K. Azhagiri has been named as the party’s candidate for the Madurai Lok Sabha constituency.

The list of DMK candidates for the 21 constituencies, released by Mr. Karunanidhi on Sunday, has 12 new faces including two film actors, D.Napoleon (former MLA) and J.K.Ritheesh and two women. Seven sitting MPs, including four Union Ministers — Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan, K.Venkatapathy, S. Regupathy and Radhika Selvi — do not find a place in the list. Mr Karunanidhi told reporters that the sitting MPs have opted out to pave way for the new faces. He said he would launch the campaign in Chennai on April 18. The candidates would be introduced at the meeting.

Union Ministers T.R.Baalu, A. Raja and S.S. Palanimanickam have been re-nominated.

Mr. Baalu, elected from the South Chennai constituency four times since 1996, has opted for the neighbouring Sriperumbudur constituency. Mr. Raja is contesting in the Nilgiris (Reserved) constituency because his earlier constituency, Perambalur, was declared a general constituency following delimitation. Mr Palanimanickam, elected from the Thanjavur constituency for four consecutive terms, has retained the seat.

Mr. Venkatapathy’s Cuddalore constituency from where he contested last time, has been allotted to the Congress in the DMK alliance.

Mr. Regupathy’s Pudukottai constituency has been removed from the list of constituencies after delimitation. Ms. Radhika Selvi was elected from the Tiruchendur constituency in the 2004 elections. Now a portion of this constituency has become part of Tuticorin constituency.

Ms. Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan’s Tiruchengode constituency, too, was removed from the list. She opted out of the race.

The other DMK MPs who have been renominated are: Dayanidhi Maran (Central Chennai), A.K.S Vijayan (Nagapattinam-Reserved), K.C.Palanisamy (Karur), E.G.Sugavanam (Krishnagiri) and D. Venugopal (Tiruvannamalai). A four-time MP, Mr. Venugopal was elected from the Tirupattur constituency since 1996, before it was removed from the list after delimitation.

The DMK contested in 15 constituencies in the 2004 elections and the tally has been increased to 21.

The new faces are J. Helen Davidson (Kanyakumari), S.R.Jayadurai (Tuticorin), K.Sivakumar alias J.K.Ritheesh (Ramanathapuram), M.K.Azhagiri (Madurai), D. Napoleon (Perambalur), K. Shanmugasundaram (Pollachi), Gandhi Selvan (Namakkal), Thamaraiselvan (Dharmapuri), S. Jagathratchagan (Arakkonam), Gayathri Sreedharan (Tiruvallur-Reserved) T.K.S. Elangovan (North Chennai) and R.S.Bharathi (South Chennai).

The party’s candidate for Kallakurichi, Adi Sankar, was elected to the Lok Sabha from Cuddalore in 1999.

The sitting DMK MPs who have been denied the ticket are: Bhavani Rajendran (Ramanthapuram), S. Krishnasamy (Sriperumbudur) and C. Kuppusami (North Chennai). Mr Jagathratchagan, who joined the DMK a few days ago, is the founder leader of Jananayaga Munnetra Kazhagam. He was elected from the Arakkonam constituency in the 1999 elections as part of the DMK alliance.


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