Chief Minister and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi, who has been contesting Assembly elections from Chennai constituencies since 1967, is shifting to his native Tiruvarur this time.

Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, who has been contesting from the Thousand Lights constituency since 1984 and has won four times, has also changed his seat. He is trying his luck from the newly formed Kolathur seat, which falls under the North Chennai Lok Sabha constituency.

Asked why he chose Tiruvarur, Mr. Karunanidhi said that even when he entered electoral politics for the first time in 1957, he should have contested only from there, but it was made a reserved constituency by certain politicians, “just to prevent me from facing the polls from there.”

At that time, he contested from Kulithalai constituency. After the 2008 delimitation, Tiruvarur became a general constituency.

Mr. Karunanidhi said that he would launch his campaign from Tiruvarur on March 23 and file his nominations the next day.

Inaugural rally

The inaugural rally would be attended by leaders of other constituents of the DMK-led front.

Apart from the two main changes, there were not many surprises in the DMK list.

Two senior Ministers, Arcot N. Veeraswami and Ko.Si, Mani, were not re-nominated on the grounds of health, the DMK president said.

Finance Minister and DMK general secretary K. Anbazhagan, who was being elected from Harbour since 1996, is trying his luck from Villivakkam now. Fifty-eight new candidates and 11 women have been fielded. Kanimozhi, daughter of former Union Minister N.V.N. Somu, to contest from Madhavaram.

To a query why Mr. Stalin had changed his constituency, the Chief Minister replied, “Ask him.”

The Deputy Chief Minister, who was standing behind Mr Karunanidhi, just smiled.

Two former All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Ministers, V. Sathiyamoorthy and S. Muthusamy, who joined the DMK in February and June last year, have been given tickets. They will contest from Mudukulathur in Ramanathapuram district and Erode (East). The latest entrant P.K. Sekar Babu too has been accommodated and will contest again from R.K. Nagar.

C. Govindasamy, who went to the ruling party from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) last year, is the DMK nominee for Tirupur (North). Former Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam presidium chairman M. Kannappan is facing the polls from Kinathukadavu.

Among the prominent faces of the DMK who have been re-nominated again are Veerapandi S. Arumugam, Durai Murugan, R. Avudaiappan and Poongothai.

The break-up of the number of seats to be contested by the DMK-led front is: DMK – 119, Congress – 63, Pattali Makkal Katchi – 30, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi – 10, Kongu Nadu Munnetra Kazhagam – 7, Indian Union Muslim League – 3 and Moovender Munnetra Kazhagam and Perunthalaivar Makkal Katchi – one seat each.