Chennai

Focus now shifts to R.K. Nagar

Posters welcoming AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa to contest in R.K. Nagar constituency.— Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

Posters welcoming AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa to contest in R.K. Nagar constituency.— Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam  

Now that the swearing-in ceremony is over, the focus will shift to Radhakrishnan Nagar (RK Nagar), where the AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa is expected to contest a by-election. It will be the first time she will be contesting from the city.

After Ms. Jayalalithaa’s acquittal from the disproportionate wealth case by the Karnataka High Court, AIADMK cadre across the State were of the belief that she would once again contest from the Srirangam Assembly constituency in Tiruchi or Andipatti constituency, a traditional AIADMK bastion in Theni district.

They were surprised when the sitting member of the R.K. Nagar constituency, P. Vetrivel, resigned from his MLA post, obviously to pave way for his party leader to contest.  Sources in the party said that Ms Jayalalithaa has opted R.K. Nagar constituency as it would be very convenient for her to campaign.

“When she can win from any constituency, what is the need to select Andipatti which is one of the biggest constituencies, beginning in Tamil Nadu and touching the Kerala border,” said a senior leader. Besides, she will have to travel from Chennai to Andipatti for the campaign, he points out.

Andipatti roughly translates into “village of a fakir.” The AIADMK cadre, however, take pride in calling it Arasipatti, village of a queen, after their leader, Ms. Jayalalithaa, was elected from the constituency.

Andipatti shot to fame when late Chief Minister M. G. Ramachandran won the election from there while being treated in the Brooklyn hospital in the U.S. in 1984.

 Ever since it has become synonymous with the AIADMK and is considered a safe seat for Ms. Jayalalithaa.

R.K. Nagar is one of the smallest constituencies and has been well nurtured by the previous party MLAs, including P.K. Sekar Babu, elected twice before on an AIADMK ticket, but who has switched over to the DMK. Whether the DMK will field him against Ms.Jayalalithaa will be known only on May 25 when the party’s district secretaries meet in Chennai.

Meanwhile, AIADMK local leaders are mighty hopeful. “Amma will win by over a lakh votes. She will create a record in electoral history,” says a senior leader.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 3:01:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/focus-now-shifts-to-rk-nagar/article7240216.ece

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