Syed Muthahar Saqaf

Party contesting Tiruchi, Karur, Mayiladuthurai and Perambalur seats

TIRUCHI: The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has fielded two senior leaders, including former Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker and former Union Minister M. Thambi Durai, MLA, and two new faces in the four constituencies in the central districts.

The AIADMK will be contesting in Tiruchi, Karur, Mayiladuthurai and Perambalur seats, and has allotted the Nagapattinam reserved constituency to Communist Party of India (CPI), and the Thanjavur seat to another ally _ Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK).

The AIADMK has fielded Dr.Thambi Durai from Karur for the fourth time.

Dr. Durai was first elected to Lok Sabha in the 1984 general elections from Dharmapuri constituency and was the Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha for the whole term.

In the 1989 elections, the AIADMK shifted Dr. Durai to Karur and he defeated sitting MP K. C. Palanisamy of the DMK.

He was fielded yet again in this constituency in the 1996 elections, but suffered defeat at the hands of K. Natrayan of the defunct Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC).

Dr. Durai took sweet revenge when he defeated Mr.Natrayan in the subsequent general elections held in 1998.

He was the Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company affairs in the short lived Vajpayee government.

Dr. Durai was elected to the Tamil Nadu Assembly from Bargur constituency in 2001 and was Education Minister in the Jayalalithaa cabinet for a few years. He was again elected as MLA from the Burgur constituency in the 2006 elections.

O. S. Manian is another senior leader the AIADMK has been fielded in the Mayiladuturai seat.

Mr. Manian, who served as a Rajya Sabha member for a term (1995 – 2001), has been fielded in this seat for the second consecutive time.

In the 2004 general elections, Mr. Manian lost to Union Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar.

He had unsuccessfully contested from Vedaranyam constituency in Nagapattinam district in the Assembly elections held in 1989 (as AIADMK – Jayalalithaa candidate) and again in the 2006 elections. .

Thirty seven-year P. Kumar, a lawyer by profession, who has been fielded by the AIADMK in Tiruchi constituency, is a new face to the poll scenario.

He is the joint secretary of the Tiruchi urban district lawyers’ wing of the party. AIADMK is testing its strength in the Tiruchi seat for the third time.

The AIADMK has selected R. P. Maruthai Raj, a post-graduate, to fight the cinema actor cum politician, D. Napoleon in the Perambalur constituency.

Forty-five-year old Maruthai Raj, also a new comer to the electoral fray, is at present secretary of the Perambalur union unit of the party.

AIADMK and the DMK will lock horns in Perambalur and Karur seats. The AIADMK will face Congress in Tiruchi and Mayiladuturai constituencies.