By G Saravanan
Published in The New Indian Express, Chennai on September 17, 2011;Source:http://expressbuzz.com/states/tamilnadu/saidai-duraisamy-is-aiadmk-candidate/314815.html
CHENNAI: The AIADMK supremo and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday nominated her party’s former MLA and founder of Manidha Naeyam IAS Academy, ‘Saidai’ S Duraisamy as Mayoral candidate for Chennai.
The city’s urban body is the oldest Municipal Corporation of the Commonwealth of Nations outside the United Kingdom.
Duraisamy, who contested the recent Assembly Election from Kolathur constituency on a AIADMK ticket, lost to DMK Treasurer M K Stalin by a margin of about 2400 votes. Duraisamy, who founded the Manidha Naeyam IAS and IPS Free Coaching Centre in 2006 in Saidapet, is immensely popular among youth and civil service aspirants in the city as well as from across the state.
The forthcoming Mayor election for Chennai Corporation gains more significance as the historic city was recently expanded by annexing 42 adjacent local bodies in Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts.
The expansion has completely changed the profile of the city Corporation on vote banks as more than 45 lakh voters living in its 200 wards will be electing their Mayor directly in the forthcoming election to take the seat of power at the Ripon Building. Besides, the public, who were denied the opportunity to elect their Mayor for the past 10 years due to indirect election system, would get their chance to elect their mayor of choice directly this time.In 1996, the then DMK government brought legislations to conduct direct Mayor election and it was followed in 2001 local polls too. While the first directly elected Mayor of the Chennai city M K Stalin completed the full term during his first tenure (1996-2001), he was forced to resign form the post with in months into his second tenure after the then AIADMK government introduced ‘one-man-one-post’ legislation.Stalin earlier held the post of the Chennai Corporation Mayor and MLA of Thousand Lights constituency. Due to the legislation, Stalin resigned from the Mayor’s post in June 2002 and remained MLA for Thousand Lights. However, the popular system that has been changed after 2001 local body polls made a dramatic comeback recently and the AIADMK government has brought a new legislation in the Assembly to revert to old system.Duraisamy, though contested in Assembly elections four times in the past, had been elected to the House only once in 1984 from Saidapet constituency for three years. In the last Assembly Election, he gave a tough fight to Stalin in Kolathur constituency, where the latter salvaged a win with a narrow margin.