Jayalalithaa declares candidates for polls

Jaya_2801393fStealing a march over her rivals, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa released the list of 227 party candidates for the May 16 Assembly elections, the most number of seats the party will contest in its electoral history.

She also allocated seven seats to minor allies, who will contest on the party’s ‘Two Leaves’ symbol.

Releasing the list here on Monday, Ms. Jayalalithaa said she would contest from R.K. Nagar in Chennai. From there, she would start the campaign on April 9 by addressing a public meeting.

Nearly a hundred sitting MLAs, including 10 Ministers, have been dropped. Among them is Higher Education Minister P. Palaniappan.

The remaining 16 Ministers, including Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam and Electricity Minister Natham R. Viswanathan, have been renominated. Mr. Panneerselvam will contest from Bodinayakkanur; Mr. Viswanathan has been moved to Athur from Natham.

Ms. Jayalalithaa packed the list in the Greater Chennai area with party heavyweights to neutralise any possible anti-incumbency against the government, which was criticised by the Opposition for its handling of the November- December 2015 floods in the city.

There are former MLAs and also new faces on the list. Ms. Jayalalithaa has fielded 31 women.

She has also accommodated many leaders who defected from other parties to the AIADMK in the past five years. Notable are the former DMK MLA Parithi Elamvazhuthi, the former DMDK MLAs Panruti S. Ramachandran and K. Pandiarajan, and PMK leader M. Kalaiarasu. She also fielded P.T. Elangovan, former PMK MP, in Dharmapuri.

She said the party would contest in all 30 seats in Puducherry and announced seven candidates for Kerala too. (Courtesy The Hindu)

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