AIADMK Plays It Safe With 2nd List of Candidates for TN Elections

AIADMK has given tickets to several incumbent ministers in its second list of candidates for the Assembly elections.

Updated
India
3 min read
The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu has released its second list of candidates for the upcoming Assembly elections.
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Giving another chance to elected representatives, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has played it safe with its second list of candidates for 171 constituencies, in the upcoming Tamil Nadu Assembly elections.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam (OPS) also released on Wednesday, 10 March, the names of constituencies from where its alliance partners Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) will be contesting.

The AIADMK has allotted 20 constituencies to BJP, while S Ramadoss-led PMK will be contesting from 23 constituencies.

Tickets to Incumbent Ministers, No Newcomers

Seats have not been allocated to many newcomers and except for Srirangam MLA S Valarmathi, Vaniyambadi MLA Nilofer Kafeel and Sivaganga’s Baskaran, all ministers and MLAs have been included in the list of candidates.

Sitting Rajya Sabha MPs, KP Munusamy and R Vaithilingam will be contesting for positions in the Legislative Assembly. Cabinet ministers including Mafoi Pandiarajan (Avadi), Benjamin (Maduravoyal), Dindugal Sreenivasan (Dindigul), KA Sengottaiyan (Gobichettipalayam), P Thangamani (Kumarapalayam), SP Velumani (Thondamuthur), KT Rajendra Balaji (Rajapalayam) and V Saroja (Rasipuram) have all been assigned constituencies.

Incumbent minister Rajendra Balaji who had earlier represented the Sivakasi constituency has been fielded from Rajapalayam in Virudhunagar district this time.

The party had earlier announced the seats for key leaders including Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami (Edappadi) and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam (Bodinayakanur), Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar (Royapuram) and Law Minister CVe Shanmugam (Villupuram).

Two sitting Members of Parliament from the Rajya Sabha, R Vaithilingam and KP Munusamy, have also been given tickets this year.

“AIADMK had to be very careful with this list. The party cannot risk losing elected representatives as they could get disgruntled and move to TTV Dhinakaran’s camp. Now that all the existing ministers are happy, there is no infighting and risk of losing key leaders.”
A source within the AIADMK told The Quint

This comes on the same day that ousted AIADMK General Secretary Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dhinakaran released the first list of candidates of the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) – which includes 11 former AIADMK MLAs and a former MP.

While Sasikala’s sudden exit has come as a shock for AMMK – and an advantage for the AIADMK-BJP alliance – Dhinakaran has decided to contest in this election in an alliance with Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM).

Poor Women Representation

This election is crucial for the EPS- and OPS-led party, to prove their support among people, as it is the first state election since AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa’s demise.

In 2019, AIADMK, in an alliance with BJP, had suffered a massive defeat. DMK had registered a landslide victory by winning 38 of the 39 seats.

It is also interesting to note that the party, once led and managed by a woman, has listed only 15 women candidates this time around.

This includes - Gokula Indira (Anna Nagar), Valarmathi (Alandur), Kanithasampath (Seyyur), Maragatham Kumaravel (Madhuranthagam), Paridha (Gudiyattam), Jothi Balakrishna Reddy (Hosur), Chithra (Yercaud), Saroja (Rasipuram), Pon Saraswathi (Tiruchengode), Indra Gandhi (Thuraiyur), Jaya Bharathi (Kantharvakottai), Lakshmi Ganesan (Sivakasi), Keerthika Muniyasamy (Mudukalathoor) and Rajalakshmi (Sankarankovil) and Thenmozhi (Nilakottai).

Surprises in the List

Rajesh, North Chennai (East) district secretary who is not a very prominent leader, has been fielded as the candidate for the RK Nagar constituency that Jayalalithaa had contested from.

Another surprise is the Coimbatore-South Assembly constituency that AIADMK has successfully won in the past but has been allotted to its ally BJP.

BJP is likely to field the party’s national women’s wing president Vanathi Srinivasan. She had contested from the same seat in 2016 but had lost to AIADMK’s Amman K Arjunan, who has now been allotted the Coimbatore-North constituency.

23 Constituencies for PMK

The BJP was eyeing the Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni constituency with actor Khusbhoo Sundar as a potential candidate. However, the AIADMK has given it to the PMK among the 23 constituencies allotted to the party.

Within an hour, the PMK released the first list of candidates for the upcoming elections. GK Pani for Pennagaram, Rajendran for Gingee, K Balu for Jayankondam, Arumugam for Thiruporur, TK Raja for Thirupathur, KS Ilavazhagan for Arcot, SP Venkateswaran for Dharmapuri
, Selvakumar for Keezh Pennathur, Arul for Salem West, M Tilagabama for Athur.

Constituencies Given to PMK by AIADMK:

1. Gingee
2. Mailam
3. Jayankondam
4. Thiruporur
5. Vandavasi (reserved)
6. Neyveli
7. Thirupathur
8. Arcot
9. Gummidipoondi
10. Mayiladuthurai
11. Pennagaram
12. Dharmapuri
13. Virudhachalam
14. Kancheepuram
15. Keezh Pennathur
16. Mettur
17. Salem west
18. Sholinghur
19. Sankarapuram
20. Chepauk-Triplicane
21. Poonamallee (reserved)
22. Keezhvellore (reserved)
23. Athur

Constituencies Given to BJP by AIADMK in Tamil Nadu:

1. Thiruvannamalai
2. Nagercoil
3. Kulachal
4. Vilavankodu
5. Ramanathapuram
6. Modakkurichi
7. Harbour
8. Thousand Lights
9. Thirukovilur
10. Thittakudi
11. Coimbatore South
12. Virudhunagar
13. Aravakurichi
14. Thiruvaiyaru
15. Ooty
16. Tirunelveli
17. Thali
18. Karaikkudi
19. Dharapuram
20. Madurai North

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