Election kings at it again in Tamil Nadu

While K Padmarajan, a tyre vulcanising shop owner, filed his nomination from the Mettur Assembly Constituency in Salem district, Noor Mohammed, a businessman, filed his candidature from Kinathukadavu in Coimbatore district on Saturday. For Padmarajan, this will be the 120th occasion he is contesting Parliament or Assembly elections since his debut in 1988 while for Noor it will be the 24th, more than a decade after his entry into the fray in 1996.

Since then, Noor (53) has tried his luck from Coimbatore, Madurai and Pollachi and has been a regular in all polls including by-elections. He has become popular by dressing up in different attires and styles when filing his nomination — be it as a king riding a horse, riding on a bullock cart to mark increased petrol prices, and so on. This time around, Noor arrived with a hurricane lamp and a mud pot, to depict the power shortage in the State and the condition of people in villages.

For the 52-year-old Padmarajan, contesting polls has become a passion and a way to enter the record books, despite continuously facing defeat. He filed nominations from Chepauk, Chennai, against DMK president M Karunanidhi in the 2006 elections and this time around, he plans to file his papers against deputy chief minister M K Stalin. He said he has also filed nominations against former prime ministers A B Vajpayee and P V Narasimha Rao, late G K Moopanar, former Kerala CM A K Antony and also against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Rajya Sabha in 2007, but the papers were rejected.

Padmarajan said he has also tried to contest against presidential candidates six times and once filed nominations against the late president K R Narayanan in 1997.

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