The DMK on Sunday asserted that its candidate for Yercaud by-election V. Maran was from a Scheduled Tribe.
The party’s reaction came in the wake of a news report in a Tamil daily that the candidate did not belong to the Scheduled Tribes community, for which the seat is reserved.
At a press conference, the DMK’s district secretary S.R. Sivalingam and Rajya Sabha MP T.M. Selvaganapathi said the party was contemplating legal action against those spreading falsehood. The DMK was the first party to announce a candidate for the December by-poll, almost a month before the date for filing of nominations.
Mr. Maran’s two paternal uncles were MLAs of the same constituency for three terms in the past. V. Chinnusamy (elder brother of Maran’s father Venkatachalapathy) served as MLA twice (in 1967 and 1971). His younger brother P.R. Thirugnanam (Congress) was also elected MLA in 1984, Mr. Sivalingam said. Both continued to receive pension for their tenure as legislators, he added.
Displaying Mr. Maran’s community certificate – which said he belongs to the Hindu-Malayali community, a recognized scheduled tribe - Mr. Selvaganapathi said it was obtained in 1993, long before his parents could have known that he would contest in any election.