Know your candidate

Election 2011- Part 1

Assembly Elections 2011 will determine the future course of Tamil Nadu in more ways than one. The question that is uppermost in the minds of the people of Tamil Nadu in particular and India in general is this: Will the voters of TN teach an unforgettable lesson to those who squander public money by bribing voters with freebies while neglecting education, infrastructure, corruption, inefficiency, displacement and environmental degradation?

This anxiety is ironical considering the economic, social, political and educational record of Tamil Nadu in the last few decades. Economically, TN is doing well even though in terms of inclusive development its record is patchy. Successive governments have been aided by favourable social climate that emphasised equity and especially the quality of human resource and education system, the traditional strengths of Tamil Nadu. But none of the major parties have capitalized on overwhelmingly positive odds for inclusive and sustainable development.

Now, it is time for the generation next to express their strong resentment by casting their votes in huge numbers. In numbers lie the strength of the people and the politicians know this too well.

The youngsters should usher in the new era of next generation of politicians and a metamorphosis in the entire political system in Tamil Nadu. Chennai is home to several important political battles.

Some of them are analysed here:

Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar, North Madras

It will witness a fierce battle between erstwhile AIADMK MLA and North Chennai District Secretary for nine years who is now contesting the 2011 Assembly Elections under the DMK banner P.K. Sekar Babu and the AIADMK candidate P. Vetrivel. The candidates have comparable profiles. Their financial profiles are similar in nature. This contest should be very interesting and we should wait and see whether the AIADMK could hold on to its traditional stronghold in 2011.

Thousand Lights

This used to be the Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M. K. Stalin's customary constituency. This has been ceded to Hasan Mohammed Jinnah, a young law graduate, who is reportedly very close to Stalin. Jinnah faces B. Valarmathi of the AIADMK and a former minister.


M.K. Stalin is facing Saidai S. Duraisamy of the AIADMK in Kolathur, a formidable opponent with a reputation for being an educationist who trains IAS aspirants.

While Stalin's efforts to beautify Chennai and also revive parks in various localities has been appreciated, many of the scores of bridges constructed have not been effective in ameliorating traffic bottlenecks. For example, the one in front of IIT Madras and the one in T. Nagar. Public transportation system and pedestrian access has been severely undermined in favour of mega projects like the Chennai Metro. Even the basic traffic regulations like laying lanes in main roads, signal duration and ensuring lane discipline are not implemented. As a result, Chennai is one of the most accident-prone cities in India.


In the Velachery constituency, a traditional strong hold of the DMK, R. Jayaraman of PMK is contesting against M.K. Ashok of the AIADMK. This move by the DMK has surprised many observers and party functionaries in Velachery as well. We can only wait and watch how the contest turns out. Velachery's real estate has boomed due to the efforts of M.K. Stalin but after he moved out of Velachery, the development has been haphazard. Velachery could have been a model for urban development in Chennai and it has turned out to be a case of missed opportunity.


INC had fielded Jayanthi Thangkabalu whose nomination has been rejected and instead her husband Thangkabalu, the President of Tamil Nadu Congress Party is contesting against R. Rajalakshmi of the AIADMK.

In 2006, the popular comedian/actor S.V. Shekar won the constituency as an AIADMK candidate. The INC has denied the Mylapore seat to S.V. Sekhar.

T. Nagar

Dr. A. Chellakumar, a former MLA of the INC, is fighting against V.P. Kalairajan, the sitting MLA and AIADMK strongman. T. Nagar probably best illustrates what is ailing city planning, governance, civic order, and access to basic amenities.


The sitting MLA G. Senthamizhan of AIADMK could be buoyed by the unexpected victory of the AIADMK during 2009 Lok Sabha elections in Chennai South district. He faces M. Magesh Kumar of the DMK, a former Municipal Councillor.

The author is the Coordinator of Tamil Nadu Election Watch and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras. Website: > www.adrindia.org; >www.myneta.info

Info at a click

Now the electorate in Mylapore can closely follow the moves of the candidates in their constituency and get up to date reports on the election procedures. The neighbourhood newspaper based in Alwarpet, Mylapore Times, has come up with the website: >http://mylaporevotes.wordpress.com/ where you can find useful information about the constituency, electoral roll and the polling stations.

Input from NILEENA M.S.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 11:54:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/nxg/Know-your-candidate/article14967429.ece

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