DMK’s Simla Muthuchozhan Is All Set to Take on Jayalalithaa
While her official foray into politics was 5 years ago, DMK candidate Simla Muthuchozhan had a rather unconventional introduction to it all.
“When the driver wasn’t in early enough, I would step in as my mother-in-law’s driver to ferry her around party meetings. Overhearing conversations and meeting people in the process gave me an insight into it all,” she confesses with a chuckle.
Hailing from Nagercoil, Simla has lived under the shadow of the DMK for 25 years now. Armed with a law and management degree, she has been the convener of the legal wing of the North Chennai Women’s Wing of the DMK and is also the propaganda secretary of the Women’s Wing of the party.
Her mother-in-law is Sarguna Pandian, former state minister who handed over the reins to her recently.
AIADMK’s candidate and incumbent Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa may have a clear edge over her, but Simla is learning to keep up and says she is unfazed by it.
I was probably fielded because I know the area like no one else. I am also, a woman, but I know I can win this. Kalaignar Karunanidhi and Stalin have faith in me for a reason. Infrastructure projects that the DMK had started are still pending. The Korrukupet flyover, the Ennore-Manali road – RK Nagar is still not as developed as it can be. And drainage issues are never ending. What my mother-in-law intended to change, I want to carry out.
She’s often seen out and about on a two-wheeler meeting people, who think of her as a member of their family, proof, she says, of her accessibility. But honouring the ties with her own family may just be her first priority.
Many of her mother-in-law’s schemes, she says, have collected dust since the DMK lost its power in the area.
When the floods happened, Jayalalithaa did nothing. The layers of tar road after tar road that she had commissioned to be laid had given away, and water entered houses faster than expected. We met people every day since then, asking if their families were okay. We provided all that we could to help them get back on track.
No one from the AIADMK, she alleges, bothered to visit the area. Party members say her work during the floods was worth taking note of.
But after this, our conversation trails off as she gets up to receive more bouquets and congratulations from nearby residents.
(Divya Karthikeyan writes for The News Minute.)
(The Quint is now on WhatsApp. To receive handpicked stories on topics you care about, subscribe to our WhatsApp services. Just go to TheQuint.com/WhatsApp and hit the Subscribe button.)