With a multi-cornered contest in Karaikal South constituency, DMK’s A M H Nazeem faces the toughest battle in his quest for a sixth straight term in Puducherry Assembly in the May 16 election.
Nazeem, first elected to the assembly from Karaikal as a 29-year old DMK worker in 1991, retained the seat in all subsequent elections.
However, despite his popularity, he faces the toughest battle this time contesting as the candidate of Congress-DMK combine with the presence of 10 contenders, including those from the ruling AINRC, AIADMK, BJP, DMDK and PMK.
AIADMK’s K A U Asana, who lost to Nazeem in 2006 and 2011 elections by a whisker, is fighting again while ruling AINRC has fielded A Suresh.
Nazeem has had a meteoric rise in politics and became the Minister for Health and Transport in 1996. In 2006, he became the Leader of Opposition.
After the delimitation exercise in 2011, the constituency was divided into Karaikal North and Karaikal South, from where he was elected then with a slender margin.
Though Nazeem is hopeful his achievements and services in the past 25 years would help him win his sixth term, the reported displeasure in the Congress camp over allocating the seat to DMK is making his job difficult.
Former Puducherry Pradesh Congress Committee President A V Subramanian, who was keen on getting the seat being a resident of the constituency, has kept himself away from campaigning for Nazeem.
However, Nazeem is confident that his track record would stand him in good stead.
Listing his initiatives, including his role in getting JIPMER’s branch in Karaikal, National Institute of Technology, construction of fishing harbour, the DMK MLA said people were aware of his contribution to the constituency’s development.
“I do not claim that I am alone responsible for all these projects. But I have continuously fought for implementing these projects and took up the issues and got them implemented. People know my role in making these dream projects a reality,” he said.