Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Actor Karthik says 'no' to Cong, may take field in Theni

Tamil actor Karthik has apparently rejected the Congress offer of a ticket to contest the Lok Sabha elections from South Chennai constituency and is likely to be fielded from Theni by Forward Block. Karthik, 53, wanted Congress to field him from either Theni or Virudhunagar, both dominated by his thevar community, but the party rejected his demand saying sitting MPs in these seats are in the fray and they have already started campaigning. At one point, sources said, Congress offered Karthik a choice of any of the Chennai seats but after candidates were named for other constituencies, only South Chennai remained. Karthik, son of veteran Kollywood actor Muthuraman, had joined All India Forward Bloc before the 2006 assembly polls and was appointed its state unit secretary. But ahead of the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, he floated Ahila Indhiya Naadalum Makkal Katchi and contested from Virudhunagar constituency but lost. He allied with AIADMK for the 2011 assembly polls but was denied a ticket. He then put up candidates in 25 assembly constituencies without much success. Now with Karthik set to contest from Theni against sitting Congress MP Haroon Rashid, Congress will have to quickly look for an alternative candidate for South Chennai. Senior leader V Narayanan and AICC member S V Ramani, both residents of the constituency, are now in the reckoning. Ramani is joint coordinator of AICC media department and has risen from the ranks of Youth Congress and NSUI. TNCC chief B S Gnanadesikan left for New Delhi on Tuesday to hold discussions with the party high command in this regard. Gnanadesikan confirmed that he had offered Karthik a choice of any of the Chennai constituencies but the latter was keen on Theni or Virudhunagar. There was no request from Karthik for the Madurai seat where Congress has decided to field Bharath Nachiyappan, the local youth Congress functionary, he said.

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