The DMDK’s campaign received a jolt on Monday after its candidate for Namakkal constituency N Maheswaran withdrew from the contest citing health problems.
Though Maheswaran got himself admitted to a private hospital in Coimbatore a day ahead of party chief Vijayakant’s visit to the constituency, sources claimed it was his reluctance to pursue a lost cause that led to the decision. A law graduate, Maheswaran had unsuccessfully contested from the same constituency in the previous Lok Sabha elections and polled just 79,420 votes from an electorate of 8,45,244.
Family pressure too could have played a role in the incident, the sources added. Maheswaran’s father R Nallathambi is a staunch Congress supporter and is one of the prominent poultry farm owners in the region.
Nallathambi also runs a group of educational institutions in which Maheswaran is a partner.
Though his withdrawal has come as a setback to the DMDK, party sources said that the name of the new candidate would be announced in a day or two. Sources also added that senior leader S K Vel, an advocate, and Dr Muthukumar were in the fray.
Meanwhile, Maheswaran who was admitted to a hospital in Coimbatore on Sunday for emyelination, has been advised by doctors to take rest for quite some time after his brain and spinal cord were reportedly found affected.
On Monday evening, Maheswaran, who spoke from the landline phone at the hospital, said “for the last 10 days I was down with severe headache. So I consulted my doctor on Sunday who advised me to take rest.” He added: “One year back I had similar problem in which my left leg was paralysed and some parts on the right side too also lost functioning powers.”
He also added that he was planning to go to Singapore for advanced treatment after a couple of weeks.