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Bridging the north-south divide

Written by: Staff
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Chennai, May 2 (UNI) He comes from the North but has made South his home. C Kantilal, a Hindi-speaking steel merchant, is perfectly at ease when he meets voters at his Park Town constituency from where he is contesting the May eight elections to the Tamil Nadu Assembly.

Mr Kantilal has made Chennai his second home since 1971 and will be trying his luck at the hustings for the third time as a BJP candidate Perhaps, Mr Kantilal is the second Hindi-speaking candidate after Mr Ukkam Chand, who was elected as an MLA from Madurantakam during the MGR regime.

A known face in the area following his long association with steel business, the 48-year-old Kantilal moves about and mingles freely with slum dwellers, whom he believes will play a crucial role in his maiden entry into the State Assembly.

After serving as BJP In-charge of Barmer-Jaisalmer when Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat contested the Lok Sabha elections in 1971, he moved over to Madras (as called then) and earned Rs 30 per month working in a pen shop.

An active member of Jan Sangh from his younger days, Mr Kantilal stepped into the steel business before he started acquainting himself with the locals who hold him in good esteem.

His involvement in politics grew after becoming the BJP Madras District Treasurer, a post he held from 1981 to 1987 before taking up a much more resposible postion as the Party Tamil Nadu Unit Treasurer.

Talking to UNI in the midst of hectic campaigning, which he does by walk covering every house and shop, Mr Kantilal is not disheartened about his early debacles in 1989 and 1991 trying his luck from Park Town.

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