Tuesday, Dec 06, 2022

Besides the Karunanidhis are the Veerapandi family,plus other sons,daughters,wives…

State Congress president K V Thangkabalu nominating his wife Jayanthi is not anything new in Tamil Nadu politics.

State Congress president K V Thangkabalu nominating his wife Jayanthi is not anything new in Tamil Nadu politics. In fact,there is now not just the family but many families.

The “first family” is the best known,headed by M Karunanidhi,five-time Chief Minister. His younger son M K Stalin,deputy Chief Minister,is third in the party hierarchy. The father is contesting from his hometown Tiruvarur and Stalin from Kolathur in suburban Chennai.

Karunanidhi’s elder son M K Azhagiri is the party’s all-powerful south zone organising secretary and a Union minister. Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi is a Rajya Sabha member. Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran is Karunanidhi’s grandnephew.

Others include the family of DMK leader “Veerapandi” S Arumugam,four-time minister and known locally as the Chief Minister of Salem district. His son A Rajendiran alias Veerapandi Raja is the outgoing MLA of Veerapandi. Now after delimitation,Arumugam is contesting from Sankari while Raja is seeking a re-election from his current seat.

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What makes the fight unusual is the opponents. Arumugam faces his niece Vijayalakshmi Palanisamy,a former AIADMK minister. Her father and Arumugam were born to two wives of an influential person,Solai Gounder. Meanwhile,S K Selvam,Arumugam’s brother’s son who once defeated him a decade ago,is pitted against Raja,making it a complete family contest.

Seeking re-election is yet another former minister — who was expelled — N K K P Raja,son of DMK leader N K K Periasamy. Raja is the DMK’s district secretary in Erode,the MLA of the constituency and was handloom and textiles minister,all posts once held by his father. Raja is contesting from Anthiyur this time.

Rani Rajamanickam,who joined the DMK recently,is contesting from a seat once represented by her late husband,former Congress man K V V Rajamanickam. Sitting member P N P Inbasekaran is the party candidate at Pennagaram,the seat once represented by his late father,P N Periannan. When Periannan’s death necessitated a bypoll,Inbasekeran’s opponent was G K M Tamilkumaran,son of PMK president G K Mani.

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In Tiruchi East,Anbil Periyasamy,MLA and DMK candidate,is the younger son of Anbil Dharmalingam,one of the founding members of the DMK. Periyasamy first became a member in 2000 after the death of the then sitting member,his elder brother Anbil Poyyamozhi. He has won all polls since.

In the Congress,MLAs Arul Anbarasu and M K Vishnuprasath are contesting again. Arul’s father R Anbarasu is an OBC leader of the party and an ex-MP,while Vishnuprasath is the son of a sitting MP,former TNCC president M Krishnasswamy.

The children of PCC presidents are not confined to the Congress alone. BJP candidate Tamilisai Soundararajan is the daughter of former TNCC chief Kumari Ananthan,a six-time MLA and ex-MP.

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AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa keeps her relatives out of politics. Her close aide Sasikala and neither her husband,nephews nor nieces attract public attention. Yet sources agree that all crucial decisions in the party are taken by this family,disparagingly referred to as the “Mannargudi mafia”.

Jaya loyalist P H Pandian,a former Speaker of the Assembly,suffered an unexpected defeat to Geeta Jeevan in 2006. His wife Cynthia Pandian lost the Lok Sabha election from Tuticorin. But the family still got a legislator when their son Manoj Pandian became a Rajya Sabha member.

The DMDK was expected to field its founder actor-politician Vijayakant’s wife Premalatha and his brother-in-law and the youth wing leader of the party,L K Sudheesh. Neither figured in the final list. Sources say the latter,who unsuccessfully contested in the last general election,has been offered a Rajya Sabha seat.

The PMK is not free of dynastic politics politics either. Though neither party founder Dr S Ramadoss nor his Union minister son Anbumani are in the fray,the latter’s chance of getting nominated to the Rajya Sabha was said to be part of the alliance deal.

First published on: 29-03-2011 at 03:37:20 am
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