Tamil Nadu - the land of rising sons (Election Special)
Posted on Mar 22 2014 | IANS
By Venkatachari Jagannathan, Chennai, March 22 : It seems to be all in the family as far as the Congress and the DMK are concerned in Tamil Nadu, which could also be now called the 'land of rising sons'.
With poll pundits predicting a washout for the Congress in Tamil Nadu in the general elections, some senior party leaders and sitting Lok Sabha members have decided to sit out this time around. However, their wards got the party tickets to contest from their own constituencies.
The Congress party Thursday released the first list of contestants from Tamil Nadu containing the wards of notable party leaders.
Putting an end to the speculation union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has opted out of the poll fray from the Sivaganga constituency. In fact a case challenging his election in the 2009 polls is pending in the court.
BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi at a recent public meeting mocked at Chidambaram, calling him "recounting minister".
His son Karti P. Chidambaram has been given the party ticket to contest from Sivaganga.
Sitting MP M. Krishnaswamy will sit out while his son M.K.Vishnu Prasad has been given the ticket to contest from the Arani constituency.
Interestingly Krishnaswamy's daughter is married to PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss, who will contest from Dharmapuri.
"The party is passing through a critical phase in the state. The senior leaders should fight from the front," a senior Congressman told IANS preferring anonymity.
According to him, there is also a possibility of the Congress picking up a couple of seats due to fragmentation of votes.
"Senior leader E.V.K.S.Elangovan may even win the Tirupur seat. He has his own share of votes," he added.
Be that as it may, other than PMK's Anbumani Ramadoss, son of party founder S.Ramadoss, it is only in the DMK that the rise of sons and daughter power is notable.
A stiff power struggle is on between M.K. Stalin and his elder brother M.K. Alagiri with party president and their father M.Karunanidhi siding with the former.
On Jan 24, the DMK suspended Alagiri, 63, for opposing his brother M.K. Stalin, 61, who is tipped for the party's top post.
Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi is now a Rajya Sabha member.
Founded in 1949 by C.N. Annadurai, the DMK is one of the oldest parties in India. The party came to power in Tamil Nadu in 1967 - 18 years after it was formed. Annadurai was the party's first chief minister.
In 1969, Annadurai died and was succeeded by Karunanidhi with the support of Tamil movie hero M.G. Ramachandran (MGR) - then with the DMK - and other leaders and members of the legislative assembly.
In 1972, MGR was expelled after differences with Karunanidhi. Following his expulsion, MGR floated the AIADMK and later captured power in 1977. The DMK was out of power till 1988, but returned in 1989.
Karunanidhi brought the party under his thumb and started projecting his son M.K. Stalin. The party underwent another split when Vaiko was sent out. Vaiko later floated his MDMK party.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)