The list of DMK’s candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, released by party president M.K. Stalin on Sunday, comprises seven veterans and 13 new faces, many of whom are sons and daughters of prominent party leaders.
Mr. Stalin placed the candidates’ list before the mausoleum of former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi at the Marina and in front of his portrait at his Gopalapuram residence before releasing the document. He also showed it to ailing party general secretary K. Anbazhagan at the latter’s residence.
Three doctors, five advocates, an engineer, 9 graduates and three women figure in the list.
As expected, DMK Rajya Sabha member and Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi will be contesting from the Thoothukudi constituency.
When asked whether the presence of ‘crorepatis’ in the list had denied opportunities for ordinary party members, Mr. Stalin dismissed it as “the view of the media”.
“We have selected candidates, well-qualified and deserving candidates who could win the election,” he told reporters.
Kalanidhi Veerasami, the Chennai North candidate, is a dermatologist by training and son of former Minister Arcot N. Veerasami.
Poet Tamizhachi Thangapandian, who formerly taught English at the Queen Mary’s College, is the Chennai South candidate. She is the daughter of late DMK Minister Thangapandian and elder sister of former Minister Thangam Thennarasu.
Dayanidhi Maran, who was elected twice from the Chennai Central constituency, has been fielded for a fourth time from the seat.
Former Union Minister T.R. Baalu, who tried his luck, unsuccessfully, in the Thanjavur constituency in 2014, is entering the fray again in Sriperumbudur. Former Union Minister of State S.S. Palanimanickam, who had to step aside for Mr. Baalu in the previous election, is the candidate for Thanjavur.
Former IT Minister A. Raja is again contesting from the Nilgiris (Reserved) constituency.
The party has fielded G. Selvam in Kancheepuram (Reserved), while former Union Minister S. Jagathratchagan will enter the fray again in Arakkonam.
T.M. Kathir Anandh, son of DMK treasurer Duraimurugan, is the candidate for Vellore, while former Minister Ponmudi’s son D. Gowtham Sigamani, an orthopaedic by qualification, will enter the fray in Kallakurichi constituency.
S. Senthilkumar, a medical professional, has been fielded in Dharmapuri. C.N. Annadurai, the party’s youth wing organiser, is the candidate for Tiruvannamalai constituency.
Cuddalore candidate T.R.P.S. Ramesh, a cashew exporter, is not a well-known face in the constituency. S.R. Parthipan, former DMDK MLA, has been fielded in Salem.
Mayiladuthurai candidate S. Ramalingam, a familiar face in the area, was a close associate of late DMK leader Ko.Si. Mani. He was elected from the Thiruvidaimarudhur Assembly constituency thrice.
Pollachi candidate K. Shanmugasundaram is an industrialist, and unsuccessfully contested from the constituency in 2009.
P. Velusami, the candidate for Dindigul, comes from a family of long-standing DMK supporters.
The candidate for Tirunelveli constituency is S. Gnanathiraviam, the secretary of the party’s Valliyoor Panchayat union unit.
Tenkasi (Reserved) constituency candidate Dhanush M. Kumar is the son of former AIADMK MLA Dhanuskodi, who represented Rajapalayam and later joined the DMK with K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran.