Party pits former deputy mayor Mu. Anbazhagan against sitting AIADMK MP P.Kumar
After a long gap of three decades, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has entered the fray directly in the Tiruchi Lok Sabha constituency by nominating former Deputy Mayor Mu. Anbazhagan as its candidate for the seat.
A four-time councillor of the Tiruchirapalli City Corporation, who has served as deputy mayor for two of the terms, the 57-year-old Mr.Anbazhagan has been catapulted into big-time politics as the party seeks to wrest the seat from the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. A staunch loyalist of K.N.Nehru, DMK district secretary and former Minister, Mr.Anbazahgan has been a party activist since the 1980s and has served as a councillor since 1996 when the civic body became a Corporation. He gradually climbed up the party ladder too to become its city secretary a few years back with the backing of the former Minister.
A post-graduate in History, Mr.Anbazhagan belongs to the Kallar community and hails from Pudukottai district. He currently represents ward 32 . He moved to the ward that spreads over the Golden Rock Railway Colony in the last local body elections and managed to win by a narrow margin of 21 votes. In his current role as party leader in the council, Mr.Anbazhagan had sought to be a calming influence on his younger and more aggressive party colleagues in the house.
Mr.Anbazhagan will bank heavily on the support of his mentor Mr.Nehru as he takes on the AIADMK’s sitting MP P.Kumar in the Lok Sabha election now. Both Mr.Anbazhagan and the DMK have much ground to cover as the party is contesting the seat after 1984 when N.Selvaraj lost to late L.Adaikalaraj of the Congress. Ever since, the party has allotted the seat to alliance partners and had remained content to play a supporting role . In fact, the party has won here only once since 1957 and it was Mr.Selvaraj who won the seat in 1980.
However, Mr.Anbazhagan sounded confident about his chances. “I have worked closely with the city residents as a councillor for 20 years. Hailing from Pudukottai district, I am familiar with the entire constituency,” he said.