New Delhi: The Congress Party has announced candidates for 60 of the 63 constituencies it will contest in Tamil Nadu assembly elections retaining a majority of the sitting MLAs and bringing in several members from the Youth Congress, including two of its top office bearers.
Former Union Minister and late MGR’s right-hand man S Thirunavukarasu, Tamil Nadu Congress Committee chief K. V. Thangkabalu’s wife Jayanthi, AICC secretary and Dalit leader K. Jayakumar and S. Peter Alphonse are some of the prominent members from the parent organization who figure in the list.
Actor S. Ve. Shekar, who was elected from Mylapore, an AIADMK seat, and joined the Congress recently, has not got ticket.
Jothi Mani, Youth Congress general secretary and Rahul Gandhi’s close aide, and Tamil Nadu Youth Congress chief M. Yuvraj are some of the young faces in the list, which has dropped only a couple of sitting MLAs. Mahendran, a Youth Congress national secretary, will seek the mandate from Peravurani.
While Mani will contest from Karur, Yuvaraj will enter the fray from Erode West constituency which the party got after much persuasion from DMK whose strongman N. K. K. P. Raja, a former Minister, shifted to a near-by seat.
Sources said these constituencies were specifically sought from DMK so that the Youth Congress leaders can be accommodated. Sonia Gandhi was very particular that there should be a considerable representation from the youth wing in the list, the sources said.
This is for the first time in several decades that the Congress will contest 63 seats in Tamil Nadu and this is probably the first time that so many Youth Congress leaders have got a chance to fight the elections.
At least six women have been given tickets, including Gayathri Devi, D. Yashodha, Haseena Syed, Jothi Mani and S. Vijayadharani apart from Jayanthi. Giving a seat to Thangkabalu’s wife has led to resentment among party men in the state.