Chennai

Descendants shine in party of rising sun

Continuing tradition:S.N. Kanimozhi, Mahesh Poyyamozhi and P.T.R.P. Thiyagarajan

Continuing tradition:S.N. Kanimozhi, Mahesh Poyyamozhi and P.T.R.P. Thiyagarajan  

DMK spokesperson defends move, says only a handful of seats alloted to wards of leaders

When he revamped the party’s youth wing in 2012, DMK treasurer and youth wing secretary M.K. Stalin fixed an age limit for organisers and deputy organisers and excluded close family members of senior leaders from getting positions.

The party, however, seems to have dispensed with what is known in some circles as the “Stalin formula” while fielding candidates for the Assembly elections. The sons and daughters of many leaders have secured tickets, and so have a few third-generation politicians.

However, former Union Minister S.S. Palanimanickam’s brother S.S. Rajkumar had opted out of the race from the Orathanadu constituency and party sources said it was because he was interested only in Thanjavur constituency. Another prominent face is former Union Minister T.R. Baalu’s son and sitting MLA T.R.B. Raja, who has re-entered the fray in Mannargudi.

In Tiruvadanai constituency in Ramanathapuram district, not only the sitting MLA and former minister Suba. Thangavelan who had sought tickets but also a couple of his family members. Eventually, Mr. Thangavelan made way for his son Suba. Tha. Divakar.

Justifying the allocation of tickets to family members, Dravidian scholar K. Thirunavukkarasu said leaders and their families were also a part of the Dravidian movement, and therefore, the party should take into consideration the contribution of family members.

“This does not mean that all the 234 constituencies should have family members of the leaders as candidates. Family members of well-known leaders in a particular area will always have an advantage over other candidates,” he said.

Even when he was alive, Salem strongman Veerapandi S. Arumugam secured a seat for his son A. Rajendran, who is once again contesting from Veerapandi constituency.

Late Anbil Poyyamozhi’s son Mahesh Poyyamozhi is the candidate for Tiruverumbur.

Mahesh’s entry into politics closed the door for his uncle and former MLA Anbil D. Periyasamy, whose father late Anbil P. Dharmalingam was a hugely popular leader in Tiruchi.

The DMK leadership, on occasion, has even persuaded the family members of leaders to enter politics. Former Minister Thangam Thennarasu, who had plans to leave for the US, stayed back and contested elections after his father and DMK Minister V. Thangapandian died suddenly.

Now, party leader M. Karunanidhi, has roped in former Speaker P.T.R. Palanivelrajan’s son P.T.R.P. Thiyagarajan, as the party’s candidate in Madurai (Central). Former Union Minister N.V.N. Somu’s daughter S.N. Kanimozhi is the DMK’s candidate for T. Nagar. Somu’s father N.V. Natarajan was one of the five leaders (Iymperum Thalivarkal) of the DMK.

Party spokesperson T.K.S. Elangovan said the party has allocated only a handful of seats to the wards of leaders from the 180 constituencies it is contesting.

“All of them are active party workers and their family background boosts their winnability,” he said.

In Chennai, Shimla Muthuchozhan, who is taking on Chief Minister Jayalalithaa is the daughter-in-law of former Minister Sargunapandian.

Other descendants in the fray are Poonogothai Aladi Aruna, daughter of late Aladi Aruna; Geetha Jeevan, daughter of Thoothukudi district secretary N. Periyasamy; M.K. Muthu, son of former Minister M. Kannappan; A.L.S. Lakshmanan, son of former MLA A.L. Subramanian; and Periannan Arasu, son of former Pudukottai district secretary Periannan.



‘Family members are also part of the movement. Their contribution cannot be ignored’



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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 8:51:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/descendants-shine-in-party-of-rising-sun/article8501998.ece

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