Much like the AIADMK, which will have children of politicians enter the fray this time, the DMK has fielded Kadhir Anand, son of DMK treasurer Durainurugan, former minister Arcot Veerasamy’s son Kalanidhi Veerasamy and long-time DMK leader Ponmudi’s son Gautama Sigamani.
While former ministers Dayanidhi Maran and A Raja retain their constituencies, M Kanimozhi enters the electoral fray for the first time. News18 had reported in December that Kanimozhi would contest from Tuticorin, officially known as Thoothukudi. BJP state president Tamilisai Soundararajan will represent the AIADMK-led front from the Thoothukudi constituency.
The Thoothukudi district has a sizeable presence of the Nadar community and Kanimozhi is expected to have an edge beyond the DMK as she belongs to the community from her mother’s side. Soundararajan, who also hails from the same community, is a new contestant in Thoothukudi. Soundararajan has already taken pot-shots at the DMK and Kanimozhi, signalling his intent to get assertive ahead of the polls.
Kanimozhi and Thamizhachi Thangapandian are the only women candidates in the DMK list, which translates to 10% of the total DMK candidates for the Lok Sabha. Interestingly, the DMK is in an alliance with the Congress, which has vowed to have a third of the Parliament made up of women through the Women’s Reservation Bill.
The AIADMK on Sunday released the full list of 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu and one in Puducherry to be fought by it and its allies. The party will field its nominees in 20 constituencies excluding Vellore, where the New Justice Party (NJP) will contest on the ruling party’s symbol of ‘two leaves.’
Only eight constituencies will see arch-rivals DMK and AIADMK crossing swords one on one.
If Indiya Jananayaga Katchi (Perambalur) and Kongunadu Makkal Desiya Katchi (Namakkal), who will contest with their partner DMK’s rising sun symbol and Puthiya Needhi Katchi (Vellore) that will fight in the two leaves symbol of its ally AIADMK are considered, then the clash between the two Dravidian majors will be seen in 11 Lok Sabha seats.
Deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam released the list in presence of Chief Minister K Palaniswami and BJP Tamil Nadu president Tamilisai Soundararajan.
The AIADMK leaders hailed the alliance as a “victorious” one, while BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan said people wanted “Modi again”, adding that the opposition was indulging only in negative propaganda.
Puthiya Needhi Katchi leader AC Shanmugam was also present during announcement of the list.