CHENNAI: DMK’S R Priya is set to make history as the Chennai Corporation’s youngest woman mayor, and the first woman mayor from an SC community. The 28-year-old, who contested from ward 74 in Thiru Vi Ka Nagar, has been among the frontrunners for the post since last week. With the official announcement from the party on Thursday, once elected, she will become the third woman mayor of the corporation after Tara Cherian (1957-58) and Kamakshi Jayaraman (1971-72).
Priya is the daughter of ‘Perambur’ R Rajan, a ward-level DMK functionary in Thiru Vi Ka Nagar, who has been in the party for over 30 years. Former DMK MLA ‘Chengai’ Sivam is Priya’s uncle.
“She was officially inducted into the party at the age of 20 but she has seen me and her uncle work right from when she was a child. She knows and understands the issues of the people well,” her father Rajan told TNIE.
For Priya, finding solutions to the city’s waterlogging problem is among the priorities on her list after she takes charge. Born and brought up in Chennai, Priya completed her MCom in Sri Kanyaka Parameswari Arts College for Women.
Tambaram mayor candidate sets her eyes on water woes
Meanwhile, while DMK’s Mahesh Kumar who contested from ward 169 has been named the deputy mayor candidate. In Tambaram, DMK’s Vasantha Kumari K, a 26-year-old Chemical Engineering graduate who is also from an SC community, will take charge as the corporation’s first mayor once elected. She lists the betterment of roads and drinking water facilities among her top priorities.
“Although Tambaram is a corporation, it does not have amenities to the extent that Chennai does. Areas like Anakaputhur are water-starved,” she said. Asked what challenges she foresees, Vasantha Kumari said, “This is my first experience as a mayor, and even as a councillor. I was received well by the people when I campaigned, but I’m yet to see how they’ll receive me as a mayor.”
G Udayakumar is set to become the mayor of Avadi and Mahalakshmi Yuvaraj, the mayor of Kancheepuram. Mahalakshmi (37) completed her MBA and had worked in the IT sector.