The Thousand Lights Assembly constituency in Chennai saw DMK’s Dr N Ezhilan recording a thumping win against BJP candidate Khushboo Sundar by a victory margin of 32,462 votes. Ezhilan has emerged victorious in his electoral debut. Dr Ezhilan is a regular face on television debates around social justice, education and state government’s policies on inclusion. A doctor by profession, Ezhilan vociferously opposed the implementation of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for MBBS aspirants. Ezhilan, who works for a private hospital in Chennai, has almost 10 years’ experience in infectious diseases, preventive medicine and diabetology. He is also the son of former Deputy Chief of the State Planning Commission M Naganathan, who was in the past part of the team creating DMK’s manifestos. Naganathan was said to be close to late former Chief Minister and DMK President M Karunanidhi. Ezhilan was one of the doctors who had treated the DMK patriarch when he was admitted to Kauvery Hospitals for treatment. He was also one of the few DMK members to spend time with Karunanidhi, who passed away in August 2018. Like Ezhilan, this was the first time that actor Khushboo was contesting in an election, with she and her party banking on her star power to see her through. Khushboo, who was once a vocal critic of the BJP, joined the national party in October 2020. She was, however, first with the DMK before quitting the party in June 2014. Thereafter, she joined the Congress but resigned last year stating that sincere workers like her were being ‘pushed and suppressed’ in the party. With Ezhilan’s victory, the DMK has held on to the Thousand Lights seat. The party’s former MLA Ku Ka Selvam, who won in 2016, had defected to the BJP last year. In the past, the constituency was well-known for sending DMK President Stalin to the state Assembly four times since 1989.