The Congress on Tuesday released a third list of candidates for Tamil Nadu for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, leaving just the Villupuram (SC) and South Chennai tickets pending.
The list featured the name of consumer durables retailer Vasanth & Co’s owner H Vasanthakumar, who will be fighting a Lok Sabha election for the first time from the Kanyakumari constituency. The move is seen as a bid to derail the chances of BJP State president Pon Radhakrishnan.
Sources said Vasanthakumar was given the Kanyakumari ticket as he comes from a Hindu Nadar community, a factor the party is banking on to eat into the vote share of Radhakrishnan. As the candidates named by the AIADMK, DMK and CPI (M) were all Roman Catholics, the perception in the Congress camp was that by splitting the Nadar vote, chances of Radhakrishnan would be affected. Vasanthakumar will also be up against AIADMK’s D John Thangam, DMK’s FM Raajarathinam and CPI(M)’s AV Bellarmin.
The other candidates named were AICC secretary Dr A Chellakumar for Krishnagiri, Youth Congress activist S Jothimani for Karur and Biju Chacko for North Chennai.