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TTV Dhinakaran in a triangular fight in TN's Theni constituency

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TTV Dhinakaran in a triangular fight in TN's Theni constituency

Chennai, Mar 24 (IANS) The General Secretary of Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) and former Lok Sabha member from Periyakulam constituency, T. T. V. Dhinakaran is in a three-cornered fight in Theni, in south Tamil Nadu.

Of 39 Lok Sabha seats in the state, Theni is the only seat which the AIADMK-led NDA alliance won in the 2019 general elections. The 2019 polls in Tamil Nadu was swept by the DMK-led front.

In the ensuing general elections, DMK Theni North district Secretary Thanga Tamil Selvan is the party’s candidate, while V. T. Narayanasamy, who is Theni East Union Secretary of the AIADMK, will be their candidate for the seat.

In the 2019 general elections, it was P. Ravindhranath, son of former Chief Minister, O. Panneerselvam (OPS) who won from the Theni seat defeating senior Congress leader E. V. K. S. Elangovan.

With OPS as the most powerful leader in Theni and Bodinayakanur region throwing his weight behind AMMK candidate T. T. V. Dhinakaran, he seems to be having an edge in the elections.

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In the 2019 general elections, Ravindhranath won the seat by a margin of 76,693 votes, defeating Congress leader Elangovan. Interestingly, AMMK candidate Thanga Tamil Selvan (present DMK candidate) received 1,44,050 votes.

Theni has a predominant Thevar population and OPS is highly respected in the commmunity. Dhinakaran has the backing of his aunt, V. K. Sasikala, former close aide of late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, who also has deep inroads in the Thevar community.

DMK candidate Thanga Tamil Selvan was earlier with AIADMK and was a three-term MLA from Andipatti seat. However, after the passing away of Jayalalithaa, he left AIADMK and joined AMMK.

The party fielded him during the 2019 general elections and he garnered 1,44,050 votes. He then left AMMK and joined DMK.

AIADMK candidate V. T. Narayanasami is a local leader but the fight is between T. T. V. Dhinakaran and Thanga Tamil Selvan.

C. Rajeev, political analyst and Director, Centre for Policy and Development Studies, while speaking to IANS said: “Tamil Nadu politics, as you know, is a combination of caste and ideology. In many seats, caste is dominant and even if the three candidates belongs to the same caste, the caste of the person heading the party becomes significant. In a seat like Theni, the Thevar community is predominant and a leader like OPS has a big clout. It was his clout and influence in Thevar vote bank that has led to the win of his son P. Ravindhranathan. This time T. T. V. Dhinakaran is having an edge and AIADMK candidate is not in the picture at all.”

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–IANS

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