Madurai

‘An MLA’s job is to shape policies in such a way that they shape society’

P.T.R.P. Thiagarajan campaigns at Mani Nagaram in Madurai.  

MADURAI

On his last door-to-door campaign at the junction of West Masi Street and North Masi Street on Wednesday night, when P.T.R.P. Thiagarajan, MLA from Madurai Central Assembly constituency, visited narrow streets to seek votes, some youths waited for him.

‘I live in Ratchanyapuram... my vote is in Madurai north,’ said M. Saravana, employed in an electrical goods store in Sellur. He came with three friends, all engineering graduates. C. Kamakshi came from Munichalai with her husband and cousins, all in their 20s. There were more.

‘I have come to take a selfie with him,’ said Saravana. ‘My parents talk about his lineage and I have read about his successful career as a banker abroad and a powerful party worker; I came to hear him speak,’ said his friend S. Raja. ‘He is educated and was rated among the top five MLAs of his party. I will be thrilled to get a photo or a handshake with him,’ said A Harini.

Thiagarajan, 55, isn’t a celebrity but in the last five years, he has steadily carved himself out as a data-driven person, who is serious about his intention to restructure his old party. Between 2016 and now, he has tried to shed the cast of his formidable legacy to come into his own as the head of DMK’s IT wing and is part of Stalin’s quartet to lead on to path of victory.

As the son of PTR Palanivel Rajan, DMK’s respected leader who was a minister and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and grandson of P. T. Rajan, who served as Chief Minister of Madras presidency, Thiagarajan says he is privileged that his lineage makes him famous.

‘While power is important, ideas are more important and I have many,’ he says after his campaigning around the Meenakshi Temple. Schooled in sound management practices, he believes in participatory democracy at street level and devised the Integrated Voice Response system aggregated with computerised data that ensures 24x7 responsibility in every constituency.

‘We can quantify success at the micro level, execute strategy and implement policies cleanly, work towards effective communication and judge our own performances,’ he says.

On his campaign trails, Thiagarajan educates his voters when they complain about civic issues: ‘It is the councillor’s job to fix street lights, broken pipes, damaged roads and water shortage. An MLA’s job is to shape policies in a such way that they shape the society by bringing in schemes and funding projects.’

He requests people to evaluate him on the basis of his performance that includes completion of over 150 welfare projects.

‘In 2016 I rode on my legacy, in 2021 my work speaks. The results will be a reflection of our team work,’ he adds.

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Printable version | May 19, 2021 6:14:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/an-mlas-job-is-to-shape-policies-in-such-a-way-that-they-shape-society/article34227351.ece

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