Having been elected to Lok Sabha in 1984, 1989, 1998 and 2009, Thambidurai has been the face of AIADMK in Karur belt and also been the party chief Jayalalithaa's pointsman in Delhi, along with party's Rajya Sabha member V Maitreyan.
Deputy Speaker in the eighth Lok Sabha, he has largely been in the good books of the party high command and reflecting this, was made the Leader of AIADMK Parliamentary Party in the outgoing 15th Lok Sabha.
Facing challenge against erstwhile party colleague and DMK nominee M Chinnasamy.
Thambidurai has also been the Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs during A B Vajpayee's second term. Despite having secured renomination from Karur, Thambidurai's ambitious plan for a fifth term has to pass through the disgruntled wall of former Minister M Chinnasamy, who left AIADMK and joined the DMK a few years ago.
Chinnasamy, a veteran leader of AIADMK from the region and a former state minister, was expelled from the party in 2010 for questioning its chief Jayalalithaa's style of functioning. He has putting up a brave face against Thambidurai, depending more on his followers from his erstwhile party.
However, he also faces the challenge of earning the wrath of long-term DMK cadres, as they had once worked against him. While the direct fight is confined to AIADMK and DMK contestants, DMDK's N S Krishnan and Congress' S Jothimani are also in the fray, hoping for a change in electorate's mood.
Krishnan, also an old AIADMK hand, is eyeing 'Modi wave' to help him since his party is a part of the BJP-led alliance. Jothimani, National Secretary of All India Mahila Congress, is facing problems due to factionalism in her party despite being 'handpicked' by Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi.
District Congress unit is not happy with her candidature and district Secretary Subramaniam is among the dissatisfied lot. Jothimani had earlier lost to AIADMK's Senthil Balaji in 2011 Assembly polls. Karur Parliamentary Constituency consists of seven assembly segments of Aravakurichi, Karur, Krishnarayapuram (SC), Kulithalai, Manapparai, Vedasanthur and Viralimalai.