Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa on Monday released the list of party candidates for the Lok Sabha polls, retaining three sitting MPs — M. Thambidurai (Karur), Dr. P. Venugopal (Tiruvallur) and P. Kumar (Tiruchi), rehabilitating a couple of candidates and introducing many new faces with good academic background.
The sitting MPs who could not get re-nomination are C. Rajendran (South Chennai), S. Semmalai (Salem), C. Sivasami (Tirupur), K. Sugumar (Pollachi), O.S. Manian (Mayiladuthurai) and K. Anandan (Villupuram)
Four among the contestants are doctors and 15 are lawyers. The list also has a substantial number of postgraduates, some of whom are also lawyers.
The four women candidates are: Maragatham Kumaravel (Kancheepuram); R Vanaroja (Tiruvannamalai); V. Sathyabhama (Tirupur) and Vasanthi Murugesan (Tenkasi). Ms Vasanthi is the wife of former AIADMK MP, Murugesan, elected from Tenkasi twice.
The Chief Minister has introduced new candidates for all the three constituencies in Chennai. Former Speaker D. Jayakumar's son J. Jayavardhan, who is doing MD (general medicine) at Sri Ramachandra University here, has been fielded from South Chennai. T. G. Venkatesh Babu, TIDCO chairman, is the candidate for North Chennai and the party's student wing secretary S. R. Vijayakumar for Central Chennai.
Another well-known face in the list is former Minister and the party’s minority wing secretary A. Anwar Raja. Besides, seven former MLAs have been given tickets.
P. R. Sundaram, who functioned as the AIADMK’s floor leader in the Assembly for a short spell, will contest from Namakkal.
He is one among four AIADMK candidates who won in the 1996 Assembly elections. He was re-elected in 2001.
Other former MLAs given party tickets are G. Hari, who represented Tirutani during 2006-2011; M. Chandrakasi (Varahur) and A. Arunmozhithevan (Chidambaram).
Of those holding positions in local bodies, Deputy Mayor of Madurai Corporation R. Gopalakrishnan and his namesake, C. Gopalakrishnan, chairperson of the Coonoor municipality, will contest from Madurai and The Nilgiris respectively.
For the Union Territory of Puducherry, Ms. Jayalalithaa has fielded M.V. Omalingam, a former MLA.