Constituency round-up: Udhayanidhi Stalin draws eyes to Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni

The constituency, a DMK stronghold, lost its sitting MLA to COVID. Find out about the high profile contest for the seat and the issues that voters want the new MLA to address.

Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni constituency sits at the heart of the city. The constituency was formed after a merger during the delimitation exercise in 2008 and has seen two state assembly elections, 2011 and 2016, since. Long regarded as a stronghold of the DMK, the constituency lost its sitting MLA, who served it twice, to the COVID-19 pandemic. The constituency includes areas like Chepauk, Triplicane, Chintadripet and Pudupet.

This time around, Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni has become the cynosure of all eyes due to the high profile candidature of Udhayanidhi Stalin, the son of DMK leader Stalin and the secretary of the party’s youth wing. He is up against A V A Kassali of the Paatali Makkal Katchi. 

Read more: High-profile constituency fielding CM candidate, Kolathur has serious civic concerns

Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni is a densely populated constituency  and one of the oldest parts of the city. With mostly mixed use neighbourhoods that see shops and residences side-by-side, the constituents deal with issues of congestion and encroachment on a daily basis. The primary issues that the residents hope to see resolved relate to civic amenities and newer public facilities such as playgrounds and recreational spaces. 

Representative image.

Votes cast (2016)

  • Total number of voters:  143669
  • Male Voters: 73375
  • Female voters: 69643 
  • Third gender: 5
  • Polling percentage: 62.30%

2016 election results:

PartyCandidateVotes acquiredPercentage of votes polled
(As per ECI website)
DMKJ. Anbazhagan67,98247.32
AIADMKA Noorjahan53,81837.46
BJPApn Thamarai Gajendran6,2814.37
DMDKV Abdulla Sait5,5073.83
NOTANone of the above3,4942.43

MLA Profile 2016

  • Name: J Anbazhagan (Deceased) 
  • Party: DMK
  • Age: 62
  • Victory margin: 14,164 votes

Source: ECI 

In the news

  • When batting for the seat in 2016, J Anbazhagan’s promises included Anbazhagan a facelift for Marina, a new swimming pool, return of cricket to Chepauk and desilting of Cooum.
  • MLA J Anbazhagan who won the Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni seat twice, moved the Madras High Court, calling for a probe into the Gutkha scam to be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation as the scam allegedly involved politicians from the ruling party, high ranking bureaucrats and police officers. He was subsequently involved in protests and picketing of the office of TN DGP calling for removal of Police Chief TK Rajendran.
  • The MLA also issued a legal notice to then Mylapore DCP V Balakrishnan for his comments on the police action during Jallikattu protests. Anbazhagan alleged that the comments made by the officer while the matter was subjudice went against the service rules for civil servants.
  • When the city was in the throes of a water crisis in 2019, J Anbazhagan was part of the protest organised by the opposition calling for action on the issue by the government.
  • The MLA also participated in a public hearing by civil society organisation urging better preparedness in the face of floods faced by the city. 
  • J Anbazhagan issued an apology for damaging footpaths by erecting boards and hoardings for his party, promising swift action to remove the hoardings and repair damage, after having been called out by the NGO Arappor Iyakkam for indulging in the practice even after hoardings were banned by orders of the High Court. 
  • The high Court declined to discharge J Anbazhagan in a case of extortion filed against him in 2011. 
  • J Anbazhagan was one of the first elected representatives to die of COVID-19 when he fell ill in June 2020. He had been involved in his party’s pandemic response on the ground. 

Know your candidates now:

S. NoNamePartyAgeOccupation/EducationCriminal Cases
1Udhayanidhi StalinDravida Munnetra Kazhagam43Cinema/Social work/ B.Com17 pending, 0 convictions
2Mohammed Idris KIndiya Jananayaka Katchi44Business/ M.ENil
3Muhammad RiozAnaithu Makkal Arasiyal Katchi33Business/ DEEENil
4Rajendran L Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam58Press/ Class 121 conviction
5Jayasimmaraja SM
Naam tamilar Katchi
26Advocate/ B.Sc LLBNil
6Raghu C Bahujan Samaj Party44Business/ Class 8Nil
7Kassali A V APattali Makkal Katchi61Real Estate/Politics/Class 8Nil
8Tabrez ATipu Sultan Party39Fitness trainer/ Class 9Nil
9Senthil Kumar HIndependent37Business/ Class 10Nil
10Anandan KIndependent46N/A / Class 10Nil
11Mohammad HussainIndependent32Real Estate/ SSLCNil
12Krishnadasan SIndependent46Driver/ Class 10Nil
13Srinivasan KIndependent43N/ANil
14Ganesan PIndependent45N/ANil
15Abid Bakshq HussainRepublican Party of India (Athawale)44Social Work/ Class 12Nil
16Balaji KIndependent41Electrician/ Class 9Nil
17Manikandan EIndependent32Plumber/ Class 12Nil
18Ravi M LDesiya Makkal Sakthi Katchi56N/ANil
19Muniyandi SIndependent55Travel Agent/ N/ANil
20Chandranathan SIndependent29N/ANil
21Madhana Gopal TIndependent44N/ANil
22Balaji CIndependent42N/ANil
23Kannan CIndependent45Business/ Class 9Nil
24Ravi EIndependent43Driver/ Class 8Nil
25Nagarajan BIndependent51Unemployed/ BBANil
26Dilliraj PIndependent29N/ANil
Source: ECI. To know more about the candidates, check their affidavits, check Election Commission of India (

Key issues:

  • Encroachment is an issue that many residents complain of from neighbouring shops and commercial establishments. As arterial roads such as Bell’s Road and Pycroft’s Road runs through the area, residents request better parking facilities. “ Most of the time, the footpath and other spaces are encroached upon for parking by visitors and owners of shops. This is a huge hindrance and safety hazard for those who walk on these roads. A proper parking lot or multi-level parking facility will solve this issue”, says Kadhija R of Pycroft’s Road.
  • Another oft reported issue is that of congestion, with unregulated construction leading to packed housing and commercial establishments. Velumani A, a resident of Chepauk said, ”I’ve lived here all my life and I see all these newer buildings have come up in place of old homes. The new ones are cramped and multi-storeyed and do not follow any building norms. They also encroach roads, making them narrower. If there is a fire in some of these streets or buildings, we will be in real danger as none of the construction is regulated.”

Read more: Auto sector blues hit livelihood of Pudupet traders

  • The cleaning of Cooum has been on the agenda for many years but not much headway has been made, which is another persistent problem highlighted by the residents. 
  • While the section of streets closer to the beach are well-maintained, other areas suffer from neglect. The by lanes of Triplicane, Chintadripet and Pudupet suffer lack of planning and basic amenities. “We need more public toilets, playgrounds and parks. Due to the congested nature of the streets, these are all absent. I hope some of these projects can be taken up on priority especially after the pandemic”, says Alphonse P of Chintadripet. 

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