Chennai: In the world of ‘Aya Ram and Gaya Ram’ politics, this one would take the case. Till Sunday morning, Saravanan, a doctor by qualification, was a DMK legislator representing the Tirupparankundram Assembly constituency in the temple town of Madurai in south Tamil Nadu.
Upset that the DMK leadership had allotted the constituency to ally CPM, Saravanan joined the BJP in the presence of its state president L Murugan in the morning. Within a few hours when the BJP leadership announced that list of candidates in 17 of the 20 constituencies, allotted to it by the AIADMK, Saravanan’s name figured in it as the candidate from the Madurai North constituency.
Saravanan was all smiles sporting the saffron flag, an identity that is not new to him. He had begun his political career in the BJP but switched over to Vaiko’s MDMK and within three years thereafter quit and joined the DMK where he was made an office bearer in the party’s medical wing and also given a ticket for the 2019 by-poll, and he got elected to the legislative Assembly.
“I am fed up with the DMK. The party district secretaries were giving me silent torture, which I could not bear. They made sure my seat was given to the CPM,” he bitterly complained.
However, BJP cadres in Madurai were unhappy. A section of them staged a demonstration questioning the decision to field him on behalf of the party. They wondered how he could win when the AIADMK, the senior ally, could have reservations in supporting him as he had defeated their candidate in the last elections.
But Ku Ka Selvam, who was expelled from the DMK last year, soon after he met the BJP top brass in New Delhi, was not as lucky like Saravanan as the BJP fielded actor Kushbhoo, a former Congress and DMK hand, from Thousand Lights in Chennai.
Selvam, who represented the Thousand Lights constituency in the outgoing House, had joined the BJP recently after functioning as an expelled legislator of the DMK. He had approached the BJP leaders upset that DMK leader M K Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi Stalin may be fielded from his constituency (Stalin senior was first elected to Assembly from Thousand Lights).
Curiously he had claimed that he had met the BJP leaders in Delhi seeking sanctioning of lifts in Nungambakkam Railway Station, which falls in his constituency. After he was denied the ticket, social media was full of questions if at least the lift was sanctioned or if Selvam was left stranded at the railway station.
The BJP had initially thought of fielding Kushbhoo in Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni and she had also undertaken field work for the past few months but the AIADMK allotted the seat to PMK. Now it has accommodated her in Thousand Lights which has a considerable Muslim population. She will face Dr Ezhilan, a popular rationalist speaker and doctor, of the DMK.
Meanwhile, the Congress late on Saturday night released the first of 21 candidates out of the 25 seats allotted to it by DMK. It had given tickets to sons of five leaders and a relative of another MP. Besides, the Kanniyakumari Lok Sabha bypoll ticket was also given to the son of H Vasanthakumar, whose death had caused the vacancy. There were strong protests within the party over the nomination of heirs, a trend that was seen in the last Lok Sabha polls as well.