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17 first-timers in the fray in Tirupur

R. Vimal Kumar

The average age of the contestants is 42

Tirupur: A glance through the candidates’ list for Tirupur Lok Sabha constituency throws light on some interesting trivia. As many as 17 out of the total 21 candidates in the fray, constituting 81 per cent, are first-timers in the electoral battlefield.

Among the four ‘experienced’ contestants, Salarapatty Kuppusamy Kharventhan (Congress) is the only person to have elected to the Parliament on earlier occasions. He first got elected in 1996 and then re-elected in 2004, from Palani Lok Sabha constituency, which ceased to exist after the delimitation exercise.

Chellappa Sivasami (AIADMK) is another ‘bigwig’ in the fray with adequate electoral experience in his kitty. He has represented the then Tirupur constituency in the Assembly from 2001-06.

After losing the seat in 2006, Mr. Sivasami successfully contested to the Tirupur Corporation council and represented Ward 35 before resigning a few weeks ago. A.M. Karthikkeyean, who is fighting as an independent candidate, has unsuccessfully contested on a BJP ticket in the last Assembly elections from Tirupur.

The fourth ‘experienced’ man is I. Karunakaran (independent), who has earlier contested as an independent candidate from Palani LS seat.

The average age of the contestants is 42. Of them, Mr. Kharventhan (61) is the oldest and S. Selvaraj (26), an independent, the youngest.

Fourteen candidates have discontinued their studies at the school-level, while the remaining have pursued higher studies. Mr. Kharventhan is a lawyer by profession after graduating from Ambedkar Law College, Chennai, and M. Sivakumar (BJP), W. Rajkumar (independent) and A Sheik Dawood (independent), are graduates in humanities stream.

N. Dinesh Kumar (DMDK) holds post-graduate degree in International Business from Monash University, Australia. K. Balasubramanian (Kongunadu Munnetra Kazhagam) is a diploma engineer, and Mr. Sivasami possesses MA in political science.

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