Former IAS Santosh Babu, V Ponraj in MNM’s first list of TN polls candidate list

Former IAS Santosh Babu, V Ponraj in MNM’s first list of TN polls candidate list
Kamal Haasan has announced the Makkal Needhi Maiyam (MNM) candidates for 71 constituencies in Tamil Nadu ahead of the Assembly elections. Party chief Kamal Haasan, on Wednesday, held a press conference where he announced the candidate list for 71 seats. This includes key seats such as Bodinayakkanur, which is the constituency of AIADMK leader and Deputy Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu O Panneerselvam. On Tuesday, MNM entered into an alliance with actor-politician Sarath Kumar's All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi or AISMK. AISMK chief Sarath Kumar had announced an alliance with TR Pachamuthu’s Indhiya Jananayaga Katchi (IJK) earlier.  Candidate names for the rest of the constituencies, including the seat that MNM Chief Kamal is contesting from, will be announced in the next list. Notably, among the list of 71 candidates is former IAS officer Santhosh Babu, who took voluntary retirement to join MNM. Santhosh Babu is being fielded from Chennai's Villivakkam. Poet and lyricist Snehan, who worked as an assistant to Vairamuthu and has penned lyrics for over 2,500 songs, has been fielded from Virugambakkam constituency. Party worker Sneha Mohandas has been fielded from the Saidapet Assembly constituency in Chennai. APJ Abdul Kalam's scientific advisor V Ponraj has been fielded from Annanagar.  Ganesh Kumar is the MNM candidate from Bodinayakkanur constituency in the Theni district, which is the seat of Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam. After entering into a pact with IJK and AISMK, MNM announced that the party will be contesting in 154 seats. As per the agreement, AISMK and IJK will contest in 40 seats each. AISMK and IJK had entered into an alliance in February last week and Sarath Kumar had also met with Kamal Haasan in the latter’s office after that. At a party event in Pudukkottai, Sarath Kumar had stated that Kamal Haasan will be the Chief Ministerial face for their alliance. AISMK Deputy General Secretary announced that Radikaa Sarath Kumar will be contesting from Velachery in Chennai for the polls.

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