Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Chennai Central — Know your constituency and candidates

As development surges, Chennai Central has to contend with problems of traffic congestion and pollution, and many unfinished infra projects.

Being the commercial nerve centre of the city, Chennai Central constituency has a significant population of migrants. From Chennai Metro Water department to the state electricity board and the GST and central excise departments, crucial city, state and central government offices are located in Chennai Central. The constituency is also a hub of healthcare institutions, with more than a dozen prominent government hospitals such as Government Children Hospital, Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital and Kilpauk Medical College Hospital located here. 

Chennai Central comprises of six assembly constituencies — Villivakkam, Egmore, Harbour, Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni, Thousand Lights and Anna Nagar. Politically, the constituency has always been a DMK stronghold, with DMK leader Murasoli Maran representing the constituency thrice in 1996, 1998 and 1999 and his son Dayanidhi Maran taking over the seat in 2004, 2009 and 2019. 

Sandhya Vedullapalli, a civic activist and a long-time resident of Anna Nagar says that the constituency houses planned localities of the city such as Anna Nagar. With abundant greenery and better commute facilities, the constituency was a preferred spot for citizens for residential and commercial purposes.

The constituency boasts a diverse blend of residents, including the city’s wealthiest to its most impoverished neighbourhoods. While Anna Nagar caters predominantly to the upper class, areas like Thousand Lights, Egmore and Villivakkam accommodate a sizeable middle-class population. In contrast, Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni is primarily home to lower-middle-class residents.

The Cooum River, traversing through the constituency, once hosted numerous settlements along its banks. However, the majority of these communities have since been resettled to housing projects on the outskirts of the city.

Demographically, the constituency has a varied socio-economic landscape. According to Ashok K, a resident of Egmore, be it Jains, Muslims or Hindus, citizens from various walks of life can be found in this constituency. Workforce from Ambattur Industrial estate also reside here.

chennai central
Chennai Central constituency is a business hub comprising the localities of Anna Nagar, Egmore, Harbour, Villivakkam, Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni and Thousand Lights.

At a glance

Constituency NameChennai Central
Number of voters (2019)13,32,135
Male voters6,60,447
Female voters 6,71,334
Others354
Source: TN Election Commission 

Additional info: 

  •  Number of Polling Booths of Chennai Central parliament seat as on 2019 Parliament Election – 1333
  • Voters Turnout of Chennai Central parliament seat on 2019 Parliament Election – 58.8%.

Find your polling booth

Use your EPIC number in the voter ID cards to find the booth information here.


Read more: Groundwater resources: Why central Chennai has more than other regions


Key candidates contesting from the Chennai Central constituency

2024CandidateSexPartyAgeEducationNo. of criminal
cases
Total
assets
Total liabilities
1Dayanidhi Maran MaleDMK57Graduate4Rs 17.07 crore Nil
2Parthasarathy BMaleDMDK5810th Pass3Rs 2 croreRs.16.59 lakh
3Vinoj P SelvamMaleBJP37Graduate professional 14Rs 31.96 croreRs.15.50 crore
Source: Election Commission of India/MyNeta.info 

The full list of candidates and their affidavits can be accessed from the ECI web portal.

The profile of the incumbent MP from Chennai Central, Dayanidhi Maran can be accessed here.

Past election results

2019CandidateSexPartyAgeVote Share (%)
1Dayanidhi Maran MaleDMK5257.15
2S. R. Sam PaulMalePMK4118.77
3Kameela NasserFemaleMNM5411.74
Source: Myneta.info
2014CandidateSexPartyAgeVote Share (%)
1S R Vijaya KumarMAIADMK4040.8
2Dayanidhi MaranMDMK4735.2
3J Constandine RavindranMDMDK4614.08
Source: Citizen Matters Chennai/Myneta.info

Candidates in the news

Vinoj P Selvam is contesting for the first time in the Lok Sabha elections. The State President of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha of the BJP in Tamil Nadu, is being portrayed by the media as the main contender to challenge Dayanidhi Maran, incumbent MP from the DMK party. Recently, while campaigning in Chennai Central, Vinoj told mediapersons that DMK party leaders think that Chennai Central is their property and the constituency has become a symbol of dynastic politics. He was referring to Dayanidhi Maran and his father, Murasoli Maran winning from this constituency multiple times.

Chennai Central has seen no development over the years and its time to give back the constituency to the people, he was quoted as saying. Vinoj has 14 criminal cases against him; while most of them pertain to unlawful assembly, a particular case interestingly refers to charges related to ‘negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life.’

The DMDK candidate from Chennai Central Lok Sabha constituency, B Parthasarathy was recently in the news when he alleged that the DMK cadre would take over polling booths in the Chennai Central constituency to forcibly secure a win.

He made a representation to the Election Commission asking the authorities to increase CRPF protection in certain sensitive polling stations and to install CCTV cameras to prevent rigging on April 19 (election day).

Key issues

There are many disparities in the different areas of Chennai Central constituency, but there is a common thread running through all of them — rapid urbanisation. It is this factor that has also made the constituency congested, taking away its soul in the past decade. Despite the Chennai Metro Rail and well-connected bus and local train facilities, traffic congestion is a crucial problem. A few infrastructural lapses such as poor stormwater drain network, lack of pedestrian space, unmilled roads and pollution prevail in many parts of the constituency. 

Located close to the Ambattur Industrial Estate, pollution has become a major issue in Anna Nagar. Once a planned locality, it is now turning into a congested hub, affecting the quality of life of the citizens. Besides air pollution, industrial effluents and garbage let out into the water bodies have resulted in water pollution as well. 


Read more: Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Chennai South — Know your constituency and candidates


According to Ashok, urgent civic infrastructure upgrades are needed in Egmore, Nungambakkam, Vepery and Kilpauk, where stormwater drains and sewage lines dating back to over 70 years are struggling to cope with the increased density. “Two-edged stormwater drains and new sewage lines should be relaid to address the overflowing issue,” Ashok emphasised. He further recommended the installation of new sewage systems, including an extended pumping system, to effectively manage the growing demand.

Residents of Villivakkam are grappling with water supply issues, with complaints about dark and murky water being supplied by Metro Water, resembling sullage. “Why else are we paying our taxes?” questioned Liliyan Swarnakalai (65), a resident, who shared her frustration: “I purchase eight cans per month, spending Rs 80 per can of 20 litres. For cooking, I spend Rs 50 for one can of cooking water of 20 litres. Only after the recent monsoon, we are unable to use water. It is also mixed with sewage water. This is not a one-off problem as it happens once every few years.”

This reliance on canned water highlights the failure of the municipal water supply system to meet the basic needs of the residents. 

The Tamil Nadu government launched the Chennai River Restoration Trust in 2006 to revive Cooum and Adyar rivers. Once a lifeline for Chennai, Cooum is now deemed a dead river by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board.

“Despite various strategies and establishing a dedicated body, Cooum restoration is moving at a snail’s pace. Sewage contamination, industrial effluents, garbage dumpage – the river is killed with every sort of pollution and it is unacceptable,” said E Arun, a resident of Chepauk, who says that the new MP should come up with a different strategy to revive the water body at the earliest. 

According to Shweta Kumari, a health activist the state of government hospitals in the constituency should be improved for better public health care.

Several new projects have been launched at the government hospitals in the city and they have adopted technology like the introduction of robotics at Omandurar Government Hospital. The new block of Kilpauk Medical College Hospital and several new units at Rajiv Gandhi hospital have indicated infrastructure development in public hospitals. However, these hospitals are still overcrowded and the service needs to be improved, feels Shweta.

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