Meet Dharmapuri MP, who tweets for meetings and ideas

Dharmapuri MP Dr S Senthilkumar (left) with Lakshmi Narasimman, a resident of Noida, inside the Parliament House on Wednesday. (Photo Credit: Twitter)

From tweeting out help for teenage students who don’t have enough funds to participate in national and international sports’ championships to publicly castigating officials for not attending to people’s complaints to holding regular meetings over a cup of coffee with Twitter friends – Dr S Senthikumar is a unique Member of Parliament (MP).

A giant slayer who defeated former Union Minister Anbumani Ramadoss in his home turf of Dharmapuri by a wide margin, Dr S Senthilkumar has been in the limelight ever since his victory in the April-May Lok Sabha polls.

41-year-old Senthilkumar, a radiologist in his hometown of Dharmapuri, is nothing but a star on micro-blogging site Twitter as he uses the medium not just to solve the problems plagued by his constituency but also to “learn and borrow ideas” to bring in a change in the society.

On Sunday, he “opened up” the parliament gallery passes for anyone interested in watching the proceedings, drawing accolades from people across the country. His tweet asking people to contact his office in New Delhi if anyone is interested in witnessing the parliament proceedings has gone viral.

“I have received 250 requests since Sunday. And surprisingly, I have got requests from outside Tamil Nadu. People from Chandigarh have also asked for passes. We secured passes for five people each on Tuesday and Wednesday. I will continue to do this since people want to know what is happening inside Parliament,” Senthilkumar told DH.

A second-generation politician who hails from a politically-influential family in Dharmapuri, Senthilkumar keeps using social media to highlight his work in the constituency.

“These social media posts benefit people. When something is flagged on social media, there is a sense of urgency in solving it. And as a people’s representative, I feel happy about getting issues solved,” he said.

Twitter and other social media sites, Senthilkumar says, helps in establishing a base with a cross-section of people who have several ideas.

“Late DMK founder CN Annadurai said people’s representatives should go before the people and work for them. I am just doing that. People from different walks of life give different solutions and one gets to learn a lot from such discussions,” he said. 

The MP, who has so far held six meetings with “Twitter friends” over coffee, says the best part about the initiative is his meeting “apolitical people.” “I happen to meet a lot of people who often crib about politicians. When I meet them, I get several ideas and I have been able to instil a sense of confidence in them,” Senthilkumar said.

The Dharmapuri MP added: “I don’t go to any city with the intention of holding these meetings. When I go to a city for work, I tweet about the meeting and a lot of people turn up. Very soon I will hold such a meeting in Bengaluru as there are several requests from the city.”

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