Meet Kalanidhi Veeraswamy, MP-elect from Chennai North

The DMK wrested the North Chennai seat from DMDK with Kalanidhi Veeraswamy. A look at the promises made by the MP for the constituency.

North Chennai has long faced neglect from the political establishment in the state as well as the centre, with development in terms of infrastructure and basic amenities found wanting in the predominantly working class areas that comprise the constituency.

North Chennai Parliamentary constituency comprises six assembly constituencies:Royapuram, Kolathur, Thiruvottiyur, Perambur, Thiru. Vi. Ka. Nagar, Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar.

A total of 23 candidates contested from various political parties and as independents from Chennai North which has a total of 14,87,461 voters. The constituency went to polls on April 18, 2019 in the second phase of the 17th Lok Sabha elections. North Chennai registered 61.46 % votes, the highest of the three constituencies in Chennai city.

The results were announced for North Chennai on May 23,with the DMK’s Kalanidhi Veeraswamy emerging the winner.

S.No Candidate Name of Party Number of votes Vote share
1 Kalanithi Veeraswamy DMK 590986 61.85%
2 A R Mohanraj DMDK 129468 13.55%
3 A G Mourya MNM 103167 10.8%

Source: ECI

Background

Dr Kalanidhi Veeraswamy of the DMK is the winning candidate from North Chennai. He is the son of veteran DMK leader and former state minister Arcot Veeraswamy. He graduated from Stanley Medical College. A doctor by profession, this is Kalanidhi’s first foray in electoral politics and first victory.

More details can be found here in the affidavit filed with the Election Commission.

Number of Criminal Cases: None

Financial details of candidate:

Movable Rs 13,90,26,859(self)+Rs 11,54,29,830 (spouse) + Rs 13,32,657 (daughter), 8,39,603 (son)
Immovable Rs 12,89,65,765 (Self) + Rs 1,97,00,000 (spouse)
Liabilities Rs 20,95,01,725 (Self) + Rs 4,88,84,825 (spouse)

Source: ECI

Over the course of the campaign, the candidate faced various questions on dynastic politics. In response, he maintained that he was of the belief that he had been chosen based on his merits as a candidate and that he had worked for the party and secured the seat after having been tuned down a ticket in the 2016 assembly elections.

Promises for the constituency

With North Chennai lagging behind in infrastructure and job, many poll promises of the candidate looked to address these issues.

The issue of traffic congestion has been on that has plagues the constituency. The movement of cargo and heavy trucks is abundant due to the presence of the habour. The MP has stated that part of his agenda is to reduce the traffic congestion by creating a special corridor for lorries.

In an interview with Citizen Matters while on the campaign trail, the MP spoke of the issues caused by the presence of the Kodungaiyur dumpyard in his constituency. He said that one of the action items during his tenure would be the shifting of the dumpyard.

He also spoke of the need to address the growing industrial and air pollution in his constituency. North Chennai sees a high level of air pollution due to a concentration of manufacturing industries and infrastructure such as the Ennore thermal power plant. The MP stressed on the need to balance economic interests with environmental impact and the need to work with regulatory agencies such as the state and central pollution control boards to curb pollution.

Also among his plans to improve the facilities in North Chennai, the MP, who is a medical professional himself, looks to revamp the medical facilities at government hospitals in North Chennai.

With a large number of his constituents hailing from fishing communities, he has promised to help halt the large scale eviction of fisherfolk from the existing market area for expansion of roads.

The MP also stressed the need for a dedicated infrastructure plan for North Chennai for its development needs. This includes setting up housing colonies and measures for decongestion of traffic.

The long-pending elevated expressway between Ennore-Port is also on the list of action items for Kalanidhi, as he lays out his promises on social media. The MP has also promised to look into desalination as a solution to the water woes of his constituency.

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