Dayanidhi looks for a repeat performanceMay 11th, 2009 | By Elections2009 | Category: Candidate watch
The Central Chennai Lok Sabha constituency will see a straight fight between the DMK and the AIADMK. Former Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology Dayanidhi Maran, who resigned after falling out with Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi’s family but later mended fences with him, is seeking re-election from this redrawn constituency; his opponent is the AIADMK’s S.M.K. Mogamedali Jinnah.
The first time Mr. Dayanidhi Maran contested a Lok Sabha election — in 2004 after the death of his father and Union Minister Murasoli Maran — he secured 61.68 per cent of the popular vote.
This was the second best performance of the DMK in the constituency since it was constituted in 1977, just behind Murasoli Maran’s 69.02 per cent in 1996.
The junior Maran is banking on his father’s achievements in the constituency, his own track record as Minister and the work he has done in the constituency.
Mr. Jinnah, who was the AIADMK’s second choice for the constituency, has been focusing on the alleged neglect of the constituency by the Central and State governments despite the presence of a powerful Member of Parliament.
He points out that despite the DMK having a majority in the Chennai Corporation council too, it has hardly done anything for the constituency.
The other contestants include Hyder Ali of the Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (which is expected to poll a significant percentage of the Muslim votes in the constituency) and the DMDK’s V.V. Ramakrishnan (who is expected to cut into both the AIADMK and DMK vote banks).
While the presence of Mr. Hyder Ali will negate the AIADMK’s strategy of fielding a Muslim candidate, the DMDK hopes to solidify its support in the city with a decent showing.
Mr. Maran has brought out a glossy booklet to highlight his achievements as a Minister.
“Investment worth 2 lakh 66 thousand crore poured into India due to the efforts of Mr. Dayanidhi Maran during his term as the Union Minister for Communications and IT facilitating employment opportunities for thousands… Central Chennai got Rs. 18 crore worth of development schemes in five years under MP’s Local Area Development Scheme,” the booklet declares.
Mr. Maran has taken the contest to cyberspace; also his cable television network has been supporting his campaign.
Dayanidhi Maran is banking on his track record as Minister and work in Central Chennai