Constituency round-up: Retired public servant, social worker, transwoman face off in Mylapore contest

ELECTION 2021: MYLAPORE CONSTITUENCY AND CANDIDATE DETAILS

A road in Kesavaperumal West Street in Mylapore gains height, after relaying. Pic: C R Balaji

Mylapore, commonly regarded as the cultural hub of Tamil Nadu, is one of the few constituencies which is a stronghold of the AIADMK+. While one part of the constituency is dominated by upper caste voters, fishing hamlets such as Nochikuppam and Santhome are also part of the constituency. 

Some of the areas that fall under Mylapore constituency are  Alwarpet, Raja Annamalaipuram, Mylapore, Foreshore Estate and Santhome. Upper caste Hindus form a huge part of the voter base and their issues take centre stage here.

Retired DGP and former Chairman of the Tamil Nadu Public Services Commission (TNPSC) R Nataraj (AIADMK), the incumbent MLA, is pitted against DMK’s Velu Dha and MNM’s Sripriya R. M Radha of the transgender community, who contested from south Chennai constituency for 2019 Lok Sabha polls, is now contesting from Mylapore constituency on the ‘telephone’ symbol.

Representative image

Votes cast (2016)

  • Total number of voters: 156149
  • Male Voters: 78455
  • Female voters: 77013 
  • Third gender: 2
  • Polling percentage: 59.38%

2016 Election Results

Nataraj R. (AIADMK)  won by a margin of 14,728 votes

CANDIDATEPARTYVOTESPercentage of votes polled
Nataraj R.AIADMK68,17643.67
Karate R. ThiagarajanINC53,44834.23
Nagarajan K.BJP11,7207.51
Suresh Kumar N.PMK5,8063.72
Munavar Basha A.S.TMC(M)4,7533.04

Source: Chennai Election Results 2016/ ECI

Incumbent MLA Profile

  • Party: AIADMK
  • S/o|D/o|W/o: Ramachandran
  • Age: 65
  • Address: New no.: H-12/1, Old No: H-9/1, Kambar Street, Kalakshetra Colony, Besant Nagar, Chennai – 90
  • Name Enrolled as Voter: Velachery (Tamil Nadu) constituency, at Serial no 1081 in Part no 210
  • Email: natarajips@gmail.com
  • Contact Number: 044 2491 3356, 98404 84411
  • Self Profession: Retired police officer
  • Spouse Profession:B.A.,B.G.L,C.M.A.,(ICWA)

Source: Nataraj R(AIADMK):Constituency- MYLAPORE(CHENNAI) – Affidavit Information of Candidate

Promises

  • Introduce Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) projects for implementing schemes like garbage disposal, solid waste management and health care
  • Empower youngsters in Nochikuppam and upskill to make them employable
  • Bolster initiatives like slum soccer for benefitting slum dwellers

Source: The Hindu

In the news

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) spokesperson Americai V Narayanan charged R Nataraj with hindering the efforts of other political outfits to clean up Chitrakulam tank in Mylapore constituency. Narayana quoted Nataraj as saying, “Do it outside my constituency.” In response, Nataraj refuted the allegations and added that he had asked them to look at other water bodies, as he does not have the authority to issue permission for the activity. 


Read more: How ‘nature-based’ transformation of Mylapore tank area could ease Chennai’s water problems


Last August, more than one-tenth of state legislators had tested positive for COVID-19. Mylapore MLA Nataraj emphasised the importance of complying with the safety norms and pointed out the difficulties that an MLA faces when people come to meet them. 

There are over two lakh CCTV cameras operating in Chennai to keep a watch over the city so that the crime rate may be brought down. For every 50 metres in Chennai, there is a camera. Commenting on the initiative, Nataraj said the police would install cameras that are equipped with facial recognition features and called for introducing gait recognition, Automatic Number Plate Recognition System and other advanced features.

In 2017, when there was an ongoing political tussle between the then AIADMK general secretary Sasikala and then TN CM O Panneerselvam, there were some allegations of partisanship and abdication of the MLA office against Nataraj, responding to which, he had said that he would always be a public servant and abide by the roles and responsibilities of an MLA. He reiterated his commitment towards his duties in the constituency and said he would always do what was best for “its infrastructural and local area developmental needs, administrative expectations and grass root requirements”.


Read more: Mylapore Sai Baba temple celebrations hold mirror to citizens’ helplessness


Know your candidates this time

S. NoNamePartyAgeEducation/OccupationCriminal Cases
1Velu. DhaDravida Munnetra Kazhagam50Business, social work/BA, LLBNil
2R NatarajAll India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam70Politician, retired DGP/BA, BGL, CMA, ICWANil
3Sripriya R Makkal Needhi Maiam63Entrepreneur/Class 8Nil
4Kuppuswamy.T.MIndependent53B.E/Social workNil
5Malar Kannan RIndependent41Business/Class 10Nil
6Kajendran MIndependent39Business/Class 10Nil
7Rangarajan RIndependent35Business/B.ScNil
8Radha MIndependent53Cook/Class 12Nil
9Senthil Kumar DAnaithu Makkal Arasiyal Katchi47Advocate/BA, LLBNil
10Natarajan PIndependent52Plumbing/Class 10Nil
11Nallappan GIndependent62Retired/M.TechNil
12Shanmugarajan BIndependent69Retired/MANil
13Arunraj BalanIndependent31Salaried/Class 12Nil
14Selvakumar SIndependent48Sastrigal Purohitam/Class 5Nil
15Varatharajan VSIndependent48Postal agent/Class 12Nil
16Venkatesh EIndependent31Driver/Class 7Nil
17Pasupathi Pragalathan Independent37Auto driver/Class 10Nil
18Karthick DAmma Makkal Munnettra Kazagam29Business/DECENil
19Nandagopal GIndependent50Advocate/MA, BLNil
20Mahalakshmi KNaam Tamilar Katchi39NA/M.ScNil
21Mohanraj JJebamani Janata68Pensioner/BANil
22V VijayakrishnaIndependent42Salaried/MANil
23Balaji VBahujan Samaj Party42Business/Class 12Nil

Source: ECI. To know more about the candidates, check their affidavits, check Election Commission of India (eci.gov.in)

Broad issues of the constituency

Beautification of Buckingham Canal is one of the longest pending promises made by MLA aspirants every term. The corporation had announced a project to prevent flooding along the 48.5 km stretch of the Buckingham Canal in Chennai. Last December, when the project was about to be kick-started, residents of the locality insisted on a public consultation for proper design of the proposed project.

Yet another issue associated with the canal and Adyar river is restoration of the water bodies. “The stormwater drains carry sewage into Buckingham canal and Adyar river. Complaints made to the corporation go unresolved every time,” says Mylapore-based activist C R Balaji.

The Greater Chennai Corporation began to relay the blacktopping on South Mada Street a few weeks ago. While it is necessary to mill the road for about 60 to 80 mm, Balaji adds that the milling was done only for about 35 mm. He says that the milling in the constituency was done only after requesting the civic body, as against the general norm of road laying guidelines. 


Read more: Mega Streets project: Here’s how it can change your neighbourhood


Commercial enterprises are encroaching into many residential spaces and violating the zoning norms. “There are hardly any checks in place. Even the existing Triplicane Urban Cooperative Society (TUCS) leased facilities are being sublet to automobile repair shops in a residential area,” says Sridhar Venkataraman, a Mylapore resident.

The Marina beautification project was first proposed by the civic body in 2019 by introducing a ‘smart’ pushcart system to streamline vendors on the beach. Last December, GCC called for existing vendors from Marina and new entrants to apply for the allocation of smart carts. The notifications posted by the Revenue Office of GCC mentioned that only 540 shops can be claimed by the existing beach vendors, while 360 pushcarts will be given to new sellers under the new plan. Many vendors are unhappy over the allocation of a limited number of carts.

While the civic body along with ITDP has taken up the project of design and development of CP Ramaswamy Road, residents are still unclear of the details of the project. “Contractors of Smart City have been holding public consultations with residents here on the upcoming development project. However, there is a lot of uncertainty over the entire project, as only limited information is being shared. There is no way for a resident to know what implications the plan will hold,” adds Sridhar.

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About Bhavani Prabhakar 135 Articles
Bhavani Prabhakar is Staff Reporter at Citizen Matters Chennai. She tweets at @_bhavaniprabha