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It's villian vs comedian in the 'Star Wars'

Written by: Staff

Chennai, May 1 (UNI) When a comedian clashes with a villain on the silver screen, it produces sparks of humour for the audience, but not so in the battle of the ballot, as the electorate in the historic Mylapore constituency in the city have come to know. AIADMK nominee S Ve Shekar, known for his comic timing and witty onscreen punch lines, and DMK MLA and celluloid baddie D Napolean are involved in a no-holds-barred campaign to win over this ancient neighbourhood, the home of saint-poet Thiruvalluvar who lived in the 1st century BC.

The locality also boasts of the famous Santhome Cathedral Basilica, built on the tomb of St Thomas, one of the disciples of Jesus Christ. The 400-year-old Kapaleeswarar temple is another famous landmark of this settlement in Chennai.

A total of 2,32,419 voters, including 1,17,764 women, in this predominantly middle class and lower middle class locality, inhabitated by a considerable number of traditional Brahmin households, small traders and street vendors, will decide between the villain and the comedian on May eight, when the state goes to the polls.

Shekar, who makes his way through narrow and crowded streets of Mylapore followed by a motely group of AIADMK cadre soliciting votes, is not amused by his title 'comedian.' ''You see, I have performed as hero in many comedy films,'' he reasons. Incidentally, Napolean has also played the role of protagonist in many films though with a negative tinge.

The AIADMK candidate rather calls the contest a ''fight between a local and an alien.'' ''I have been living in Mylapore since 1958 and I need no introduction to the people. In fact, most of them even know my mobile number,'' he says, shaking hands with a bunch of enthusiastic children.

Napolean has switched from Villivakkam, the largest Assembly segment from where he was elected last time, as he has done precious little for the constituency and is not confident of facing the people there again, he charges.

One of the star campaigners of the DMK, Napolean says he opted for a smaller constituency so that he can focus his attention and energy on canvassing for the candidates of Democratic Progressive Alliance across the state.

''I have already covered the entire constituency and I am confident that the educated and prudent people of Mylapore will vote for me taking into account my political experience and performance,'' he asserts.

Pooh-poohing Shekar's trump card of 'being a local,' he points out to the film comedian's forefeiture of deposit when he contested as an independent here in 1989.


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