In DMK bastion of Central Chennai, it may be a cakewalk for Dayanidhi Maran

Despite anti-incumbency, Dayanidhi Maran who is eyeing successive terms from Chennai central, has political lightweights as opponents.


Published Apr 08, 2024 | 10:03 AMUpdatedApr 08, 2024 | 10:03 AM

Dayanidhi Maran campaigning

By S Vijay Karthik

In what could be a likely David vs Goliath battle, the Central Chennai constituency will see the DMK’s Dayanidhi Maran take on BJP’s Vinoj P Selvam for the 19 April Lok Sabha elections, in which the AIADMK-led bloc’s nominee and Naam Tamilar Katchi are also in the fray.

Chennai Central, with over 23 lakh voters, is among the smaller constituencies in Tamil Nadu, which has a total of 39 Parliamentary constituencies.

The constituency consists of Villivakkam, Egmore, Harbour, Chepauk, Triplicane, Thousand Lights, and Anna Nagar assembly segments.

The famous Marina beach, several commercial buildings, high-rise residential complexes and few other educational institutions are also present in the constituency which is home to several industrialists, celebrities, famous temples, churches and mosques.

According to locals, some of the issues they face in Central Chennai include erratic water supply, traffic congestion, lack of flood control measures during monsoon, among others.

Also Read: Seeman’s NTK hopes to sail on youth power to make a mark in electoral politics

Central Chennai

The constituency is seen as a stronghold of the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

Key DMK leader and parliamentarian, Dayanidhi Maran is testing his electoral fortunes for a fourth time from this segment, even as he won by a massive margin in 2019, defeating Sam Paul of the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK). Maran had then secured 4,47,150 votes as against 1,46,813 votes bagged by Paul.

This time, Maran is pitted against BJP’s Vinoj P Selvam, a state secretary of the saffron party. Late actor Vijayakanth’s DMDK, fighting the polls as an AIADMK ally, has fielded B Parthasarathy.

Actor-politician Seeman NTK has nominated Dr R Karthikeyan who is in the fray for the second time. He lost from Central Chennai in 2019 by securing just 30,809 votes then.

‘Despite anti- incumbency’

Maran may face the challenge of anti-incumbency, but may sail through, political observer Sumanth Raman said.

“Though there is anti-incumbency against Maran, he is likely to win easily as both his opponents (from BJP and DMDK) are political lightweights and neither the DMDK nor the BJP has much of a presence in Central Chennai”, Raman told PTI.

After emerging victorious in the 2004 elections, Maran became the Union Minister for Information Technology in the Congress-led UPA I regime.

Meanwhile, NTK candidate Karthikeyan said he would face the people with his honesty and integrity.

“Unlike other candidates who are contesting in this constituency, I do not have any cases against me. I am not involved in any corruption. I will speak to them as a representative of a common man and take up their issues in Parliament,” he told PTI.

Also Read: The Prime Minister may huff and puff, but Tamil Nadu remains lukewarm

Issues of the constituency

Several issues have been put forth to him by the people during his campaign. Water scarcity, traffic congestions and lack of storm water drainage facilities are some of the issues that need to be addressed immediately.

“I will seek to address these issues as people have been facing difficulties every year. I have prepared a detailed strategy on how these issues need to be sorted out. And during my poll rally, when I explained this to them, they give me a positive response” he said.

“I also see a good response from the people as they are dissatisfied with the current MP (Maran). The response I have received so far, has been encouraging when compared to those candidates nominated by other parties,” he claimed.

The Central Chennai constituency comprises 6,64,076 men voters, 6,78,658 women and 433 transgenders, totaling 23,58,526 electors.

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)