While the DMK has announced V Senthil Balaji as the party candidate, the AMMK has nominated H Shahul Hameed. They will be taking on AIADMK’s V V Senthil Nathan, who is the Karur district youth wing secretary.
For Senthil Balaji, who quit the TTV Dhinakaran-led AMMK in December last year, it is a fight for prestige as he has vowed to secure a massive win for the DMK. Senthil Nathan was handpicked by senior AIADMK leader and Karur Lok Sabha contestant M Thambidurai to take on the challenge posed by Senthil Balaji.
There is a total of 2.05 lakh voters, including 1.06 lakh women and two transgenders. The elections are scheduled to be held in around 250 polling stations, of which 29 have been identified as vulnerable. A total of 9 flying squad teams and 9 static surveillance teams have been deployed to monitor and prevent the transportation of unauthorised money in the segment.
Since all three major political parties in the State have fielded their candidates, the Aravakurichi Assembly segment, which would go to bypolls on May 19, is set to witness an intense and heated election campaign.
V Senthil Balaji (DMK)
The 43-year-old started his political career with the DMK. He left the party in 2000 and joined the MDMK. He later joined the AIADMK and became the Karur MLA in 2006. He won again in 2011 and became the Transport Minister. He won from Aravakurichi segment in 2016 but was disqualified on September 18, 2017 when he switched over to the AMMK. He joined the DMK on December 14, 2018 in the presence of party chief M K Stalin and was then appointed the district in-charge. Though it has been claimed that he secured least votes from the Pallapatti area where there is a significant Muslim population during the last election, he has reportedly secured their support now.
V V Senthilnathan (AIADMK)
Senthilnathan (37) is a resident of Aandankovil East in Karur. He has studied Bachelor of Science in computer technology and runs a granite quarry, store in Karur. He joined the AIADMK in 2002 and is currently the Karur district youth wing secretary. He unsuccessfully contested from Aravakurichi constituency in the 2011 Assembly elections, finishing behind DMK’s K C Palanisamy by a margin of 4,541 votes.
H Shahul Hameed (AMMK)
The 39-year-old is a native of Pallapatti in Karur. A school dropout, Hameed runs his own business. Having joined the AIADMK in 2001, he earlier served as the Pallapatti union youth wing secretary and the State minorities wing joint-secretary. Post Jayalalithaa’s death, he joined the AMMK and is currently the Amma Peravai President of the Pallapatti union. The AMMK aims to play spoil sport to the chances of both the DMK and the AIADMK by splitting the minority votes in Pallapatti.