Special Correspondent

Second term for Sarubala R. Tondaiman

TIRUCHI: Scotching speculations on the choice of candidate for Tiruchi Mayorship, the Congress has finally settled on Sarubala R. Tondaiman for a second term for the post. She became Mayor for the first time when the post was reserved for woman (general). She managed to retain the post this time even after the post was de-reserved brought under the general category.

Selection of Ms. Tondaiman, who hails from the Pudukottai Royal Family, for the post for the second term was preceded by speculations that the top post will go to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, as the party had won in 26 wards on its own in the 60 member council compared to nine wards bagged by Congress. When the DMK finally allotted the post to the Congress after prolonged suspense, there were two more contenders within the Congress.

Ms. Tondaiman, a staunch supporter of G. K. Vasan, faced stiff challenge from G. Jerome Arokiaraj and S. Sujatha, supporters of E. V. K. S. Elangovan and P. Chidambaram respectively.

This time she had to contest from ward No. 44, where she romped home defeating the nearest AIADMK rival R. Sellammal by 909 votes in a five-cornered contest.

The Deputy Mayor's post has been allotted to the DMK and the party has already nominated the sitting Deputy Mayor, M. Anbazhagan for the same.

In the recent polls, the DMK front won in 40 wards - DMK 26, Congress 9, CPI 3, CPI-M 2, while the AIADMK front bagged 14 wards - AIADMK 10 and MDMK 4. Of the remaining six, the DMDK won in a solitary seat and independents were chosen in the rest.