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Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Meet the leader: T R Baalu

Thalikottai Rajuthevar Baalu has been in politics since he was a teenager and was detained under the stringent Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) during the 1975-1977 Emergency.
Last Updated : 18 April 2024, 14:25 IST
Last Updated : 18 April 2024, 14:25 IST

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Political Party: DMK

Parliamentary Constituency: Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu

Placed third in the DMK’s pecking order as treasurer, Thalikottai Rajuthevar Baalu has been in politics since he was a teenager and was detained under the stringent Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) during the 1975-1977 Emergency.

In 1982, Baalu was named the secretary of the undivided Chennai district, a powerful post in the party hierarchy, after recognising his organisational skills. Four years later, Baalu was sent to the Rajya Sabha.

The 82-year-old leader is a close friend of Chief Minister M K Stalin and his trusted aide when it comes to national politics.

Baalu contested his first direct election from the prestigious Chennai South seat in 1996 and was reelected in 1998, 1999, and 2004 before shifting to Sriperumbudur in 2009.

A Union Minister of state from 1996 to 1998, Baalu was promoted as a cabinet minister in the A B Vajpayee government in 1999. After Murasoli Maran’s death in 2003, Baalu emerged as DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi’s point person in Delhi and enjoyed enormous powers as the Minister for Surface Transport and Shipping in the UPA-I government.

As his ministerial tenure was mired in controversies, Baalu didn’t find a berth in the Cabinet and lost the 2014 elections from his native Thanjavur seat. In 2019, he shifted to Sriperumbudur from where he is seeking reelection now.

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Published 18 April 2024, 14:25 IST

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