C. Vijaya Basker who assumed charge as the new State Health Minister on Wednesday holds two professional degrees – he is a doctor and a law graduate.
Dr. Basker, secretary of the Pudukottai district unit of the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, is the second medical doctor to be the Health Minister in the present AIADMK regime after V.S. Vijay.
Dr. Basker was one of the young MLAs when he was elected on an AIADMK ticket to the assembly from the Pudukottai constituency in the 2001 assembly elections. He was only 27 years old when he became an MLA defeating his nearest Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) rival A. Periannan Arasu by a margin of over 28,000 votes in a nine-cornered contest.
Though he was not re-nominated by the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in the 2006 Assembly election, he was back in the electoral fray in the 2011 Assembly elections.
When the AIADMK announced its first list of candidates for the 2011 elections, his name came up for Tiruverumbur constituency in Tiruchi district much to the surprise of the AIADMK cadre of both Tiruchi and Pudukottai districts.
However, he was later fielded from the newly created Viralimalai Assembly constituency in his native Pudukottai district, following the allotment of Tiruverumbur seat to the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam which was then in the AIADMK-led alliance.
The Viralimalai constituency was created following the abolition of the Kolathur (reserved) constituency during the delimitation exercise and announced as a general seat.
Dr. Basker was pitted against DMK candidate and former AIADMK minister S. Regupathi in the 2011 elections. He defeated Regupathi, a former Union Minister, by a huge margin of over 39,000 votes, in an eight-cornered contest.