Constituency round-up: Sitting DMK MLA hopes to retain seat in the cosmopolitan constituency of Harbour

Three-time MLA and current legislator of Harbour, P K Sekar Babu seeks re-election. Find out who the other candidates are and what voters want the new government to address.

Harbour constituency consists of localities such as Wall Tax road, Kondithope, Sowcarpet, Seven Wells Street, Broadway, Kachaleshwar Nagar, Muthialpet, Park Town and few wards in Anna Salai. 

Broadway — a central locality within Harbour constituency — houses shops selling everything, from electrical appliances to handicrafts, plastic containers to thermocol items, hardware manufacturing items to software products. You are wrong if it gives an impression that the constituency is completely commercial. The footpaths of Wall Tax Road are home to many homeless, who work as daily labourers in these commercial complexes. Sowcarpet market which is known for gold plated jewelry has the largest population of North Indians in the city.

Residential and commercial spaces co-exist in this constituency. This part of Chennai also sports a vintage touch, as one can see houses dating back to the British era and people taking a ride on rickshaws.  

Read More: A chat with Chennai’s last generation of rickshaw pullers

Votes cast (2016) 

  • Total number of voters : 104002 (excluding postal votes)
  • Male voters : 57364
  • Female voters : 46626
  • Third gender : 12
  • Polling percentage :  55.44

Incumbent MLA

  • Name: P K Sekar Babu (DMK). He previously contested on AIADMK’s ticket from the R K Nagar constituency and switched allegiance to DMK in 2011. He contested and won the seats of RK Nagar and Harbour in 2011 and 2016 respectively.
  • Name: P K Sekar Babu
  • Age: 53
  • Address: Old NO:7,New no:7,Chellappa street, Ooteri, Chennai-12
  • Name Enrolled as Voter in: Thiru.Vi.ka nagar (Tamil Nadu) constituency, at Serial no 93 in Part no 96
  • Contact Number:  9841040026
  • Criminal cases: Nil

Source: Myneta Info

In the news

  • DMK MLA from the Chennai Harbour constituency P K Sekar Babu, on March 21, 2021 countered the proposition that a majority of Harbour voters were BJP loyalists who would lean towards the AIADMK alliance, under the influence of PM Modi. The sitting MLA, however, said that the poor policies of the central government, such as demonetisation and GST, had crashed the businesses of Gujarati and Rajasthani businessmen here, and had weakened the Modi wave. According to him, the DMK and Congress have a traditional vote bank in the constituency.     

2016 election results

PartyCandidateVotes acquiredPercentage of votes polled
(As per ECI website)
DMKSekar Babu PK 42,07140.36
AIADMKSreenivasan KS 37,23535.72
BJPKrishnakumar Nadhani13,35712.81
Social Democratic Party of IndiaAmeer Hamsa S4,1613.99
None of the Above (NOTA)21012.02

Know your candidates

A three-time MLA and current legislator of Harbour, P K Sekar Babu is contesting the seat again and will be facing the BJP’s Vinoj P Selvam, part of the ruling alliance. P K Sekar Babu promised the public on March 25, 2021 that if voted to power, he will bring in a solution to traffic issues in the constituency by adding car parking facilities; he would also focus on water and drainage, by renovating the sewage lines of British era and adding more pumping stations. NamePartyAgeEducation/ OccupationNo. of criminal Cases
1Sekar Babu PK DMK58SSLC/ Social Service25 pending cases;
No convictions
2Vinoj P Selvam Bharatiya Janata Party34BA BL/ Professional Consultant Nil
3Ramesh A MNM41BA Economics/ BusinessNil
4Santhana Krishnan PAmma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam46Real Estate Agent/ITI Electronic Mechanic Nil
5Selvam P Independent53Class eight/ BusinessNil
6  Nagaraj SIndependent35BA Public Administration/ BusinessNil
7Zion Raj M Independent37Class five/ BusinessNil
8Anand Raj TK Independent 37BL/ LawyerNil
9  Sivaraman G Independent46BL/ LawyerNil
10Mahalingam D Independent50Class eight/ BusinessNil
11Ramesh D Independent58M.A,M.L/Lawyer Nil
12Pugalenthi P Independent48BA/ Advocate Nil
13Damodharan AGIndependent47B.A, B.L/ LawyerNil
14Selvaraj S Independent46LLB/ AdvocateNil
15Ganesh S Independent39B.Com, LLB/ Lawyer Nil
16Selvakumar R Independent60SSLC/ BusinessNil
17Vivek Ram A Independent31BA/ AdvocateNil
18Srinivasan P Independent49M.A, B.L/ LawyerNil
19Krishna Kumar G Independent35LLB/ LawyerNil
20Ramki P Independent32B.A, B.L/ LawyerNil
21Raghunath K Independent49LLM/ AdvocateNil
22Suresh RIndependent39BL/ AdvocateNil
23R ChandranIndependent30BL/AdvocateNil
24Kamal JIndependent27B.Sc, B.L/ LawyerNil
25Udhaya Kumar VIndependent31BL/ AdvocateNil
26Ahamed Fazil M Naam Tamilar Katchi31BL/ LawyerNil
27Shankar A Independent31BA Political Science/ BusinessNil
28Ravi Kumar CBahujan Samaj Party35Class eight/ BusinessNil
Source: ECI. To know more about the candidates, check their affidavits here.

Read More: In pictures: A stroll through parks in North Chennai

Key issues

A resident adds to the growing mound of garbage beside an already overflowing bin at Kasi Chetty Street of Parrys Corner. Pic: Laasya Shekhar

For decades, Harbour constituency has not been getting the attention it deserves. Chennai grew around the localities of this constituency. But ironically, civic issues in the areas are still unaddressed.

  • Home to a large chunk of the trading population, the commercial spaces of Broadway are in dire need of public toilets. Rickshaw-pullers, street vendors and the homeless use the pavements to relieve themselves. Women suffer in silence. “There are barely any e-toilets across the constituency. Even if there are, they are either locked or in unusable condition,” said a street vendor, whose family resides on the pavement of Wall Tax Road. 
  • The commercial spaces of Broadway and Sowcarpet are riddled with narrow, pothole roads. Every corner of these roads are filled with heaps of garbage, waiting to be cleared. “I saw many governments change, many leaders promise to transform the constituency and develop it at par with the localities in South Chennai. Waste management, the basic issue is yet to be solved,” said Kushal Jain, a resident of Sowcarpet. At Sowcarpet, burning of garbage has resulted in respiratory issues for many residents. The absence of these basic amenities left no choice for many residents but to relocate. 
  • Park Town is an important rail terminus in the constituency. If one gets down at Chennai Central railway station and wants to reach certain parts of the city, the suburban and MRTS stations in Park Town are quick commute options. However, safety during nights is questionable. “Commuters have to walk more than a kilometre from Chennai Central to reach Park MRTS station. There are no street lights and the road is known for anti-social elements,” said Girish Chandar, a regular commuter. 
  • Houses have no sewage connectivity and despite getting Metro water connection decades ago, water supply is not regularised. The cramped commercial complexes have no fire exits.  

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