The Congress has announced that former Lok Sabha MP K Rani will be its candidate for the Villupuram (SC) constituency in the Lok Sabha polls. This has come as a relief to party supporters, who have been waiting a long time for a representative to be chosen.
The party has so far announced candidates for 38 constituencies in Tamil Nadu and the lone seat in Puducherry, with only the ticket for South Chennai yet to be allotted. With this, the Congress has three women candidates out of 38 in the State.
Congress Tamil Nadu State president B S Gnanadesikan on Saturday said that the candidate’s name would be announced within one or two days, adding that former IAS officer P Sivakami and former Rasipuram MP K Rani were being considered.
The decision to allot the ticket to Rani came on Saturday night.
The Villupuram seat had been withheld so far as a party worker, Maniratnam, was pushing for the ticket to the Chidambaram (SC) constituency. Maniratnam quit the Congress on Saturday to join PMK and became the PMK candidate for Chidambaram. This cleared the path for Rani’s candidature.
Rani, a native of Namakkal, has served one term each in the Lok Sabha and the Tamil Nadu Assembly. She started with social work and entered politics when she joined the INC.
She was elected to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly from Thalaivasal constituency in 1996 on a Tamil Maanila Congress ticket, defeating a Congress candidate.
She rejoined the Congress when the TMC merged with its parent organisation in 2002. In 2004 she was elected to the Lok Sabha from Rasipuram. She could not compete in 2009 as the Rasipuram constituency was disbanded in the delimitation of 2008, with large parts of it going into forming what is now known as the Namakkal constituency.
Since this is not an SC-reserved constituency, Rani asked for the Kancheepuram (SC) seat, which the party gave to sitting MP P Viswanathan.
A source from the Villupuram Congress committee said that she would start her campaign on Tuesday. An executive member meeting has been arranged on the same day to introduce her to party members.