The Congress, the DMK’s largest ally in Tamil Nadu, has been unable to finalise its list of candidates for the nine Lok Sabha constituencies allotted to it, as there are too many aspirants for some seats. In fact, the Congress is the only constituent of the Secular Progressive Alliance which has not released its candidates’ list yet. “Instead of short-listing the candidates we have sent the names to the high command. AICC president Rahul Gandhi will return to Delhi after campaign today (Thursday) and he will be in a position to take a decision,” a senior Congress leader told The Hindu.
The delay has caused embarrassment for the DMK since its president M.K. Stalin has already hit the campaign trail from the delta districts canvassing for candidates of his party and those of the allies.
On Thursday, he addressed a public meeting in Musiri in support of IJK Perambalur candidate Paarivendhar. Also, in the rival AIADMK-led front, all allies have fielded candidates in the seats allotted to them, the last being the BJP on Thursday evening.
According to the Congress sources, the Tiruvallur (Reserved) constituency in the North and the Kanniyakumari constituency in the South have received maximum number of applications.
Former VCK MLA Selvaperunthagai, who defected to the Congress, former Kancheepuram MP P. Viswanthan, TNCC working president Jayakumar and former MP K. Rani were among the 40 aspirants for the Tiruvallur constituency.
For Kanniyakumari, the party has received applications from 46 aspirants, including party Nanguneri MLA H. Vasanth Kumar and industrialist Ruby Manoharan. Former Union Minister Sudarsana Natchiappan and Karti Chidambaram, are in the race for the Sivaganga constituency.
Actor Kushboo has expressed desire to contest from Tiruchi or Karur and a few other constituencies, sources said. Former TNCC president Su. Thirunavukkarasar is also eyeing Tiruchi besides late MP Adaikkalaraj’s son Joseph Louis and AICC member N. Pattukottai Rajendran. In Karur, Jothimani, who in the past was handpicked by Mr. Rahul Gandhi, and ‘Bank’ Subramaniam are in the race.
Former TNCC president EVKS Elangovan, whose native Erode seat has been allotted to another ally, the MDMK, has been left with the option of contesting either from Virudhunagar or Krishnagiri. In Virudhunagar, he is facing a challenge from former MP Manicka Tagore. Former MLA A. Chellakumar is the aspirant for Krishnagiri constituency and Mr. Elangovan is also open to contesting from there.
Another constituency that is in demand is Arni. TNCC working president Vishnu Prasad, senior leader Nasey Ramachandran and Sudha Ramalingam, daughter of former MP Anbarasu, are in the race for the seat.