Nadu, the two main parties – the DMK and the AIADMK – have announced their candidates. Ten takeaways from the list of candidates announced by the mainline regional parties in Tamil Nadu.
1. Kith and kin of powerful leaders dominate both the DMK and AIADMK lists. In many seats, it is a case of the baton being handed over to gen-next. Prominent among them is OP Ravindranath, son of deputy Chief minister O Panneerselvam from Theni, Kalanidhi Veerasami, son of former DMK minister Arcot N Veerasami from Chennai North and TM Kathir Anandh, son of DMK treasurer Duraimurugan from Vellore.
2. There has been the electoral rise of a daughter in the party of the rising son ! Kanimozhi will contest her first Lok Sabha election from Tuticorin constituency.
3. Nari Shakti? AIADMK has given one seat to a woman candidate among the 20, DMK does one better with two candidates, one of them being Kanimozhi. Dhinakaran has given three out of the 24. MDMK, CPI, CPM, PMK, VCK none.
4. Out of the 37 AIADMK sitting MPs, only six of them have been renominated by the party. Is this an admission of severe anti-incumbency against the 31 lawmakers?
5. The DMK and the AIADMK are pitted against each other only in 8 of the 20 seats, each of them is contesting. Both parties obviously fancy a better chance if their opponent is one of the two national parties – BJP and the Congress – or one of the smaller regional parties.
6. Fifty per cent of the 20 seats that the DMK is contesting are in northern Tamil Nadu, where it is considered strong. These include the three Chennai seats.
7. Karunanidhi is very much at the centrestage of the DMK campaign. MK Stalin placed the list of candidates at his father’s resting place at the Marina before announcing the names. He will also launch the party campaign from Tiruvarur, Kalaignar’s birthplace.
8. While New Justice Party will contest from Vellore on the AIADMK’s two leaves symbol, VCK’s Ravikumar will contest from Villupuram on the DMK’s rising sun symbol. However, VCK chief Thirumavalavan will contest from Chidambaram on an independent symbol. VCK is part of the DMK-led alliance in Tamil Nadu.
9. The PMK candidate from Central Chennai constituency is Sam Paul, the proprietor of a popular chain of salons. He would however hope against a close shave !
10. While Rajinikanth has given the elections a miss, his colleague from tinsel town, Kamal Haasan will announce the list of Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) candidates on March 20. The Congress will announce its list on March 19 even as its state leadership has invited Rahul Gandhi to contest from one of the seats allotted to it.