Second phase polling: In Chennai Central, challenge for Dayanidhi Maran is to regain DMK bastion

File photo: Dayanidhi Maran. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Apr 16, 2019, 11.15 PM (IST)

Formerly known as Madras Central, Tamil Nadu's Chennai Central is touted as one of the crucial Lok Sabha seats from the South Indian capital. Despite being one of the smallest constituencies, the seat witnesses some of the biggest bigwigs of Tamil politics wrest power in the mega electoral battle.

Traditionally, the fight in Chennai Central has primarily been a show between the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) - both bereft of their supremos now. 

Trends have it, the constituency was an undisputed DMK bastion since 1996 until AIADMK's SR Vijayakumar swept the seat in 2014, beating former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran by over 50,000 votes.

Until 2014, Chennai Central was a typical DMK, rather Maran bastion. While Dayanidhi Maran kept the seat in 2004, 2009; his father and former union minister Murasoli Maran was elected thrice from the constituency between 1996 and 2004. 

At present, all three Lok Sabha seats from Chennai - north, south and central - rest with AIADMK, which has not fielded a candidate from Chennai Central this time. The party swept 37 of Tamil Nadu's 39 seats in last general elections. AIADMK is fighting this year's general elections in an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK).

DMK's Dayanidhi Maran loss in 2014 was largely attributed to charges in the telecom scams. Maran is in a direct fight with PMK's Sam Paul.

Water crisis and bigger investments would be some of the key issues on which nearly 14 lakh electors of Chennai Central will be eligible to exercise their voting rights on April 18. 

Chennai Central goes to polls on April 18. 

Story highlights

Traditionally, the fight in Chennai Central has primarily been a show between Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) - both bereft of their supremos now.