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Karunanidhi files nomination ; in the fray for record 11th time

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Chennai, Apr 17 (UNI) Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) President M Karunanidhi today filed nomination papers, to seek re-election from Chepauk in the May eight assembly elections, setting a new record of entering the fray for the eleventh time in Tamil Nadu politics.

Mr Karunanidhi, who launched his second leg of campaign in his home turf, filed the papers before the Assistant Commissioner, Land Disposal, in the office of Commissioner of Land Administration at Ezhilagam. He was accompanied by party Treasurer Aroct N Veerasamy, the Deputy General Secretary M K Stalin and Union Ministers T R Baalu and Dayanidhi Maran.

The DMK supremo, who has remained unbeaten at the hustings since the party entered the electoral politics in 1957, has chosen for the first time, to seek election for the third successive term from a constituency. He was elected from Chepauk in the 1996 and 2001 assembly elections.

Mr Karunanidhi, who was Chief Minister for four terms in a total tenure of 14 years, made his debut in 1957 from Kulithalai and since then he has not looked back.

Except in 1984, when he did not contest as he was the member of the now defunct Legislative Council, the DMK stalwart had won all the elections he contested.

After his wins from Kulithalai in Tiruchirapalli district in 1957 and Thanjavur in 1962, the DMK supremo, moved to the city, which by then emerged as the DMK bastion. He had won from Saidapet in 1967 and from Anna Nagar in 1971.

He represented Anna Nagar in 1977 and 1980 and won twice from Harbour in 1989 and 1991. In the 1991 elections, held in the aftermath of Rajiv Gandhi assassination, the DMK was completely routed and Mr Karunanidhi emerged as the party's lone winner. He, however, resigned his seat.

After the DMK lost the last elections, Mr Karunanidhi stayed away from attending the assembly, but kept his membership alive by signing the attendance register kept in the lobby at regular intervals.

UNI WS KVV YA RS1413

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