Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi is contesting the Assembly election from his home town Tiruvarur.
By choosing Tiruvarur Assembly Constituency, the Chief Minister has indicated two things: One his affinity to his native place and his better winning chances.
Though the Chief Minister has contested elections eleven times from 1957, won all of them and became Chief Minister for five times, only during this tenure ie from 2006-2011, he concentrated more on Tiruvarur. (Tiruvarur district was carved out of Thanjavur and Nagapattinam districts in 1997 when he was the Chief Minister).
As a result, Tiruvarur got a Government Medical College, a Central University, and cement roads. The Tiruvarur district has got a Government polytechnic at Korkai near Thiruthuraipoondi.
Favourably for the Chief Minister, Tiruvarur has become a general constituency. Previously it was a reserved constituency. Now in the reconstitution, Keelvelur in Nagapattinam district, a new Assembly constituency which is near Tiruvarur has become a reserved constituency.
In the last election (2006), U.Mathivanan, Dairy Development Minister won as a DMK candidate from Tiruvarur. He defeated his nearest AIADMK rival with a margin of 28,000 votes. DMK candidates won in 1996 and 2001 too. From 1962, the CPI(M) has won five times from Tiruvarur. A cross section of people contacted by The Hindu welcomed the decision of the Chief Minister to contest from Tiruvarur.
S.Ranganathan, Secretary of Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association and a resident of Mannargudi said that Mr. Karunanidhi is of a different category and cannot be limited as a party candidate. He likened him to former West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
"Jyoti Basu is no more and Mr. Vajpayee is unwell. But Mr. Karunanidhi is active both in politics and administration. We welcome his move to contest from Tiruvarur, his native place." Mr. Ranganathan said.
Mr. Mathivanan, Dairy Development Minister, who is the sitting MLA of Tiruvarur said, "I won in the last election with a margin of 28,000 votes. This time we will make him win with the largest margin of votes any candidate can get in Tamil Nadu".
The only minus point will be the Communist votes as they are now opposed to the DMK and the Congress. Tiruvarur is one of the communist bastions.
The Chief Minister's name spells a magic in the minds of people in Tiruvarur town and the entire district. Born at Thirukuvalai now in Nagapattinam district, Mr. Karunanidhi lived in Tiruvarur and studied there. He started his public life in Tiruvarur by participating in agitations. He would fondly recall his childhood days in Tiruvarur and Thanjavur whenever he addressed meetings at Tiruvarur.
His relatives live in the town and his mother's memorial is at Kattur. He used to visit this samadhi and his house at Thirukuvlai whenever he won elections and elected as chief minister of the state.
Mr. Karunanidhi started his Assembly contest from Kulithalai in 1957. Then he contested from Thanjavur in 1962, Saidapettai in 1967 and 1971, Anna Nagar in 1977 and 1980, Harbour in 1989 and 1991, and Chepauk in 1996, 2001 and 2006.
Tiruvarur Assembly constituency now has 2,03,733 voters.