Maran, who is the son of DMK veteran and former commerce minister in the Vajpayee government, the Late Murasoli Maran, has been elected to Central Chennai twice — in 2004 and 2009.
In just a couple of days when Tamil Nadu goes to vote, former union telecom minister and DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) leader, Dayanidhi Maran will hope to be elected from his home constituency of Central Chennai, for the third time.
Maran, who is the son of DMK veteran and former commerce minister in the Vajpayee government, the Late Murasoli Maran, has been elected to Central Chennai twice — in 2004 and 2009. He lost a bid for re-election in 2014, on the back of multiple charges in the 2G scam and the BSNL Telephone scam.
Seeking votes from an open jeep that plies along Mylapore’s tiny streets, Maran made it clear to CNBC-TV18 that he wouldn’t be taking any questions on the possibility of corruption allegations hanging heavy on his re-election bid, choosing to focus on the strengths of his campaign.
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“Our leader, MK Stalin has formed a formidable alliance with the Congress, Left and the MDMK (Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam),” said the former union minister, “There’s a lot of hatred among the people of Tamil Nadu since they feel neglected by the central government. People want change.”
Maran’s two big election promises are clean drinking water and bigger investments for Tamil Nadu. “In 2004, things were very similar to how they are today,” he said, “There was a severe drought and I promised the people that I will find a solution by way of setting up a desalination plant, if I were to be elected. For the first time that year, the union budget saw the UPA allot Rs 1,000 crore for a desalination plant in Chennai, which was implemented.”
Maran has now promised his electorate in Central Chennai that the plant in question would have its capacity increased should he make a comeback to Parliament in 2019. “We will also add another plant, if needed.” He added, “Employment is another problem. When we were in power, we brought in industries and provided employment. If I win, we will ensure that industries invest in Chennai, especially in the IT sector.”
As is the case with most DMK leaders on the campaign trail, the former union minister predicted a clean sweep for the party in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. “We will also win all assembly seats in the byelection, and the DMK will form the state government, in Tamil Nadu, as well,” Maran signed off.
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First Published: IST