The Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) headed by TTV Dhinakaran Sunday announced its first list of candidates for 24 Lok Sabha seats and nine nominees for the by-elections to Tamil Nadu assembly. Prominent among those fielded are former minister Isakki Subaya and former mayor Charubala R Thondaiman in South Chennai and Tiruchirappalli Lok Sabha constituencies respectively.
The state, which has 39 Lok Sabha seats, goes to single-phase polls on April 18 along with bypolls to 18 assembly constituencies. Most of the 18 assembly seats have fallen vacant after the disqualification of 18 ruling party MLAs loyal to Dhinakaran under the anti-defection law in 2017.
The AMMK was floated by Dhinakaran last year after he and his aunt V K Sasikala, close aide of late chief minister Jayalaithaa, were ousted by the ruling AIADMK, capping a bitter power struggle in the party. The AMMK has fielded nine of the disqualified MLAs from the constituencies from where they had won in the 2016 assembly polls.
The constituencies are Poonamallee, Perambur, Tiruporur, Gudiyattam, Ambur, Harur, Manamadurai, Sattur and Paramakudi. While Subaya was a Minister in the Jayalalithaa cabinet in 2011, Charubala Thondaiman was a former mayor of Tiruchirappalli Corporation twice beginning 2001.
The former Mayor had quit Congress to join former Minister G K Vaasan's Tamil Maanila Congress in 2014 and about two years ago she switched to the AIADMK. Later she pledged her allegiance to Dhinakaran. The AMMK has also named candidates for the Lok Sabha seats of Tiruvallur, Sriperumbudur, Kanchipuram, Villupuram, Salem, Namakkal, Erode, Tiruppur, Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Pollachi, Karur, Perambalur, Chidambaram, Mayiladuthurai, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Sivaganga, Madurai, Ramanathapuram, Thenkasi and Tirunelveli.
Dhinakaran, who sprang a surprise by emerging victorious in the 2017 RK Nagar Assembly by-poll, had on Saturday, allotted Chennai Central Parliamentary constituency to AMMK's ally Social Democratic Party of India.
(With inputs from agencies.)