TN polls: CM Palaniswami, Stalin, Dhinakaran, Haasan file nomination

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Eds: Recasts intro, adds details Chennai, Mar 15 (PTI) Chief Minister K Palaniswami, Leader of Opposition MK Stalin and actor-politician Kamal Haasan on Monday filed their nomination for the April 6 Assembly elections in the state.

As many as 904 persons including 137 women have filed nominations since the process began on March 12, according to EC figures.

Palaniswami, AIADMK Joint Coordinator and DMK president Stalin filed their papers from Edapadi in Salem and Kolathur in Chennai, respectively.

AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, Kamal Haasan, state ministers KA Sengkottaiyan, D Jayakumar and P Thangamani, Stalin's son Udhayanidhi, Naam Tamizhar Katchi founder Seeman, senior DMK leaders E V Velu and Duraimurugan and Vanathi Srinivasan, BJP Mahila Morcha chief, were among those who filed nominations today.

Dhinakaran has shifted to Kovilpatti from his RK Nagar seat here which he represents in the present Assembly, while Haasan seeks to make his electoral foray from Coimbatore South in the western industrial city.

Talking to reporters, Vanathi, who is taking on Haasan, said history has clearly shown not all film actors were successful in politics.

'Kamal Hassan has to go back to Big Boss, after May 2, the counting day,' she said in an apparent reference to the reality show earlier hosted by the star on a private TV channel.

Udhayanidhi, DMK's youth wing president, is also making his electoral debut, with the party nominating him from Chepauk-Triplicane here, a segment represented by his late grandfather and former chief minister M Karunanidhi thrice.

The AIADMK, which is contesting from 179 seats and the DMK, from 173 segments, are locked in a battle of votes to form government, with the former in the ruling saddle for a decade and its rival keen to dethrone it and stage a comeback.

Haasan's MNM, floated in 2018, is also seeking to make inroads in the state dominated by the Dravidian majors DMK and AIADMK, with the actor-politician being critical of both parties on corruption and governance.

While Palaniswami filed his nomination from native constituency Edapadi in Salem, Stalin did the same from Kolathur in the city, with both seeking a hat-trick of sorts from their respective seats.

Palaniswami, declared the chief ministerial candidate of the AIADMK-led alliance, had won from Edappadi four times (1989, 1991, 2011 and 2016) and the region in Western Tamil Nadu is among the strongholds of the ruling party.

The chief minister got down from his car about 100 metres from the local Taluk office, walked alone and submitted his nomination papers to the returning officer, strictly adhering to the Election Commission's directives as part of measures to avoid crowding in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stalin, who filed his nomination here, was accompanied by Harbour MLA PK Sekar Babu and party functionary NR Elango, in line with the EC mandate on two persons alone being with the candidate while submitting the papers to the Returning Officer.

AIADMK Coordinator and Deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam had filed his nomination on Friday.

The last date for filing nominations is March 19 and single phase polling will be held for a total of 234 seats on April 6. PTI SA NVM BN BN