Chennai: At a time the BJP and AIADMK leaders, starting from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are targeting the DMK accusing it of practicing dynastic politics, Friday’s ticket distribution exercise saw the rise of party president MK Stalin’s son and actor-producer Udhayanidhi Stalin in the electoral field.
The DMK, which retained most party heavyweights including former ministers and sitting MLAs, chose to field Udhayanidhi in Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni seat in Chennai, a constituency represented thrice by party patriarch and his grandfather M Karunanidhi in its previous avatar Chepauk.
“Till two days ago, we were told that Stalin is against fielding his son. He wanted to deflect the charge of promoting dynasty and also avoid giving tickets to children of other party veterans. Also at that time it appeared that yesteryear actor Kushboo could be fielded from the seat by the BJP making it a high profile battle. But now the AIADMK has given the seat to the PMK. We understand Stalin faced pressure from within the family to give the ticket to his son,” said a second line leader.
While Stalin will enter the fray from Kolathur in Chennai for a third straight time, the DMK will take on the ruling AIADMK in as many as 129 constituencies. Over a dozen legislators have been dropped either because the seats were allotted to the allies or because of fear of anti-incumbency against them.
Stalin placed the list of 173 candidates before his father’s mausoleum on the sands of the Marina before making it public. Apart from these candidates, 14 of those fielded by allies would be contesting on the DMK’s ‘Rising Sun’ symbol.
A dozen women including former ministers Poongothai Aladi Aruna, Geetha Jeevan and Tamilarasi were given the given the party tickets.
The party also re-nominated former minister I Periasamy and his son IP Senthilkumar, both sitting legislators. Andipatti, a constituency once represented by AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran and his successor Jayalalithaa, will see a clash between brothers A Maharajan (sitting MLA from DMK) and A Logirajan.
The DMK fielded a newbie Sampathkumar to take on Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami in Edappadi seat but nominated local strongman Thanga Tamilselvan, a former AIADMK MLA against Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.