PUDUCHERRY: Independent MLA V M C Sivakumar, representing Neravy in Karaikal, on Sunday formally joined the AIADMK in Chennai. Nine other political leaders from various parties too joined the ruling AIADMK.
Sivakumar had called on Jayalalithaa in October last, which led to speculation that he would eventually go with the AIADMK. Chief Minister N Rangasamy had formed the government with his support in 2011.
Sivakumar had won the polls thrice on a DMK ticket from Neravy and as an Independent from the same constituency in 2011. Apart from Sivakumar, All India NR Congress (AINRC) functionaries Vaiyapuri Manikandan, G Panneerselvam, G Sundaravadivelu, former DMK MLA R Rajaraman, L Ramalingam (DMK), Labour Progressive Front secretary Franklin Franzua, former INTUC vice-president V C Elumalai alias Kasilingam, Pradesh Congress Committee leader P M Saravanan and Traders Welfare Association member T Kaliyaperumal joined the AIADMK.
Sivakumar, a BA Economics graduate from Tagore Government Arts College, Puducherry, entered politics in 1969 as a student union leader. In 1980, he defeated AIADMK candidate V M C Varadhapillai and became an MLA for the first time. He was inducted into the cabinet as minister of agriculture, animal husbandry, consumer affairs and fisheries. In 1985, he lost to Varadhapillai by a margin of 750 votes. In the 1990 and 1991 elections, Sivakumar lost to V M C Ganapathy, son of C Varadhapillai. But in 1996, 2001 and 2006, he repeatedly won from Neravy. Between 1996 and 2000, he served as the Assembly Speaker.
When Sivakumar was denied a ticket, by the DMK to contest from Neravy in 2011, his supporters set ablaze the party flag and flagstaff. He walked out of the DMK, contested as an Independent and defeated DMK’s Geetha Anathan by 358 votes.
Last year, he wanted Chief Minister N Rangasamy to field a candidate of his choice from Karaikal to the Rajya Sabha. But when the seat went to AIADMK, Sivakumar reportedly got upset.