Constituency round-up: High-profile constituency fielding CM candidate, Kolathur has serious civic concerns

Working President of the DMK, M K Stalin won Kolathur both in 2011 and 2016. Will he be able to retain the seat, given the continuing complaints from voters?

Kolathur definitely makes headlines whenever in the news, and the reason behind this is not entirely unknown. A high profile constituency represented by the DMK’s current chief ministerial candidate M K Stalin, Kolathur always draws special attention and finds mention in news discussions.

Located in the north-western part of Chennai, Kolathur is equidistant from both Koyambedu bus station and Chennai Central railway station, and is well-connected by road with all major localities of the city. Close by are the highly developed residential, commercial and industrial centres — Anna Nagar, Purasawalkam and ICF respectively.

Since its inclusion within city limits, Kolathur has developed rapidly and is now home to a majority of educated people. It has six multi-speciality hospitals and a few colleges, and is developing further with many commercial outlets being built in close proximity. Doctors, students, employees and business people constitute a major chunk of residents here. 

Kolathur assembly constituency consists of Srinivasa Nagar, Senthil Nagar, Periyar Nagar, Kumaran Nagar, Poombugar Nagar, Agaram, Sembiam and Ayanavaram localities.

Votes cast (2016)

  • Total number of voters: 167218 (excluding postal votes)
  • Male Voters: 85372
  • Female voters: 81841
  • Third gender: 5
  • Polling percentage: 64.79%

Incumbent MLA

  • Name: M K Stalin (DMK). Stalin was elected from the Kolathur constituency in 2016 and sworn in as the leader of the opposition in the TN Assembly. This was his second consecutive win since the constituency’s establishment in 2011. Earlier he won the Thousand Lights assembly seat four times — in 1989, 1996, 2001 and 2006 and lost twice from the same seat in 1984 and 1991.
  • Party: DMK
  • Age: 68
  • Profile: He was the Minister for Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj in Karunanidhi’s cabinet during 2006-2011. In 2009 he went on to become the first Deputy CM of the state, which he served until 2011. Stalin previously served as the mayor of Chennai from 1996-2001 and was secretary of the DMK youth wing for 47 years from 1982, until his son took over in 2019. Stalin was unanimously made the party president in 2018.
  • Address: 25/9, Chittaranjan Road, Cenotaph 2nd Street, Chennai-600018
  • Name enrolled as voter in: Mylapore (Tamil Nadu) constituency, at Serial no 127 in Part no 24 
  • Contact Number: 04424356600
  • Criminal cases: Six

Source : Mynetainfo

Promises made

Before the 2016 elections, M K Stalin had announced that if voted to power, DMK shall implement Fourth Police Commission for a corruption-free and political intervention free style of law and order functioning in the state. Stalin also promised a permanent solution to drinking water woes, drainage and sewage overflowing problems and assured that he would meet voters’ demands for libraries and gymnasiums in the area.

In the news

  • DMK working President Stalin wrote a letter on October 6, 2020 to the Chief minister Edappadi Palaniswami, urging him to pass a resolution against farm laws. The three farm bills enacted by the central government earlier that year drew huge criticism from farmers and various state governments for being capitalist-friendly and bringing few benefits to farmers.
  • M.K.Stalin on February 25,2021 took a jibe at Palaniswami again for raising the retirement age to 60. Though he supported it in principle and considered it a good move, Stalin alleged that the government’s hike in retirement age came in the wake of upcoming assembly elections this year. In May last year, the retirement age had been raised from 58 to 59. 

2016 election results

PartyCandidateVotes acquiredPercentage of votes cast
DMKM.K Stalin91,30354.25
AIADMKJ.C.D. Prabhakar53,57331.83

Know your candidates

S. NoNamePartyAgeEducation/OccupationCriminal Cases
1M K StalinDravida Munnetra Kazhagam68BA/ Social work47 (no convictions)
2Aadhirajaram AAll India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam62BA LLB/ AdvocateNone
3A Jagadeesh KumarMakkal Needhi Maiam31Diploma in Viscom/ BusinessmanNone
4G VelumuruganSiva Sena Party406th standard/ EntrepreneurNone
5M RajendranNational Democratric Party of South India46B.Sc/ DriverNone
6S SureshkumarMakkal Atchi Katchi37BCom BL/ AdvocateNone
7P HarishkumarIndependent27BL/ LawyerNone
8C JeevakumarIndependent34BA BL/ LawyerNone
9Mirza Fdar AliIndependent438th standard/ BusinessmanNone
10D SureshbabuDesiya Makkal Sakthi Katchi45MBA/ Business consultantNone
11B Vijaya KumarIndependent38BGL/BusinessmanNone
12Suresh MTamil Nadu Ilangyar Katchi36Class ten/ CarpenterNone
13P Senthil KumarIndependent39BA BL/ LawyerNone
14Malarvizhi AIndependent30MBA/ HousewifeNone
15A SeethaBahujan Dravida Party47Class twelve / TypistNone
16V SureshkumarIndependent49SSLC/ AssistantNone
17Divya AIndependent26BTech IT/ housewifeNone
18J SuriyamuthuIndependent46SSLC/ WatchmanNone
19Rama DeviIndependent33Class eight/TailorNone
20E RajendranAnna MGR Dravida Makkal Kazhagam56Nil/ DriverNone
21Sathiyaseelan Independent36MSc Mphil / BusinessNone
22Devika RaniIndependent30MBA/ HousewifeNone
23D NilamaniIndependent43Nil/ HousewifeNone
24MJS. Jamal Mohammed MeeraBahujan Samaj Party39Class seven/ LabourerNone
25Nirmala DeviIndependent3012th class/ TailorNone
26R SelvamIndependent42BA BL/ AdvocateNone
27M.A.S Senthil KumarIndependent43Class eight/ BusinessmanNone
28K PaneerselvamIndependent38Class ten/ BusinessmanNone
29Vivekraj JThamizhaga Munnetra Congress31Class eight/ PhotographerNone
30F Camilus SelvaNaam Tamilar Katchi30BA BL/ LawyerNone
31J ArmugamAMMK54BA/ BusinessmanNone
32K Elumalai Veerath Thiyagi Viswanathadoss Thozhilalarkal Katchi44Nil/ LabourerNone
33L KatheresanIndependent48MA/ BusinessmanNone
34Agni Sri RamachandranIndependent40class ten/ agriculturistNone
35Ashok kumar SNew generation People’s Party41MA/ ConsultantNone
36A L Naresh KumarIndependent27SSLC/ Insurance agentNone
Source: ECI. To know more about the candidates, check their affidavits here.

Key issues

In view of the serious water scarcity issues in the city, Stalin made several efforts to create and renovate ponds in his constituency through the MLA development funds.

Read more: Panel discussion: What the city really wants from the new government

A lot of Corporation schools were beautified in the past five years, said Vaidyanathan C, a Kolathur resident. However, there are still major infrastructural lapses in the constituency such as:

During summers, Ayanavaram residents anxiously wait for tankers to arrive. Pic: Laasya Shekhar
  • The road over bridge at the level crossing of Villivakkam Railway station remains incomplete, nine years after the project was announced in 2012. The absence of the ROB is strongly felt by motorists and other road users who have to wait at the level crossing, whenever a train passes by. “The long wait is resulting in traffic congestion. Residents, on the other hand take a detour to go to localities such as Villivakkam and Anna Nagar,” said Vaidyanathan.
  • Illegal parking of vehicles on roads and in bus depots also causes major inconvenience to the public in Ayanavaram. Residents complain about difficulty in free movement of public transport, with private vehicles parked on both sides of the road, and police failure to clear abandoned vehicles for days, sometimes even months. 
  • Based on a news report alleging more than 3000 encroachments on Kolathur lake, the National Green Tribunal’s southern zone initiated suo-motu proceedings. It highlighted the swallowed-up portions and encroachments, including a 200 feet road that cuts across the lake. The NGT ordered a committee to be formed, comprised of the Tiruvallur district collector, superintending engineer PWD, a senior officer from CMWSSB, CMDA, GCC and an expert professor in hydrology from Anna University. The Committee has to submit a factual report, while the TNPCB has to find out if there has been any violation of the Solid Waste Management Rules and submit an action taken report against violators.
  • Kolathur seems to have never ending problems around drinking water and traffic. An overhead water tank in Thanikachalam Nagar, started in 2009, is yet to be finished since its start. Families there have to pay substantial amounts as drinking water charges, but there is no drinking water pipeline connection. Additionally, Jawahar Nagar suffers from water scarcity, sewage overflow and garbage disposal issues.
  • A few other generic issues include decreasing tree cover in Periyar Nagar and narrowing of the Red Hills Road at Srinivas Nagar between Villivakkam and Kolathur.

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