With a few weeks left for 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Sunday (March 17) released its list of candidates for 20 seats in Tamil Nadu, fielding former union ministers Dayanidhi Maran from Central Chennai, A Raja from Nilgiris (SC) and T R Baalu from Sriperumbudur constituencies, respectively.
MK Stalin's sister and Rajya Sabha MP MK Kanimozhi will for the first time try her luck in the Lok Sabha elections as the journalist-turned-politician will make her electoral debut from Tuticorin in southern Tamil Nadu. Kanimozhi's Rajya Sabha term is scheduled to end in July this year.
The list of DMK candidates, including 13 new faces, was released by party president MK Stalin at a press conference on Sunday. The DMK has allotted 19 other seats in the state to the Congress and other allies.
The DMK has chosen for a mix of familiar faces and debutants for a number of constituencies, it also handed tickets to the sons and daughters of six of its leaders. The children of former DMK leaders who will be contesting on a DMK ticket are senior leader Durai Murugan's son Kathir Anand from Vellore; K Ponmudi's son Gautham from Kallakurichi; Arcot Veerasamy's son Kalanidhi Veerasamy; and late leader Thangapandian's daughter Sumathi alias Tamilachi Thangapandian from South Chennai.
Other MP candidates are: G Selvam (Kancheepuram-SC), S Senthilkumar (Dharmapuri), C N Annadurai (Tiruvannamalai), S R Parthiban (Salem), K Shanmugasundaram (Pollachi), P Velusamy (Dindigul), T R V S Sriramesh (Cuddalore), S Ramalingam (Mayiladuthurai), Dhanush M Kumar (Thenkasi-SC), and S Gnanathiraviam (Tirunelveli).
Former union ministers of state S Jagathrakshagan and S S Palanimanickam have been fielded in Arakkonam and Thanjavur constituencies.
Ironically, the party has allotted just 10 per cent of its total seats for women although it champions the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill, which aims to earmark 33 per cent seats for them.
In the April 18 elections, DMK is contesting 20 out of the 39 Lok Sabha seats in the state, leaving the rest to its allies, including Congress. Stalin released the list of candidates after visiting the mausoleum of his late father and party patriarch M Karunanidhi at the Marina beach here. He placed the list on the floor and paid floral tributes, symbolising seeking the late leader's blessings.
The development comes hours after the ruling AIADMK on Sunday released the full list of 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu and one in Puducherry to be fought by it and its allies. The results of the Lok Sabha 2019 polls will be announced on May 23.