This man has contested elections for 176 times, files paper for 177th

electionMADURAI: 57-year-old K Padmarajan, popularly known as, ‘Therthal Mannan’ (Election King), for consistently filing nomination papers in the elections, has not spared the by-election to the Thiruparankundram assembly constituency. Padmarajan, a native of Salem, filed his nomination paper with the returning officer of the constituency, R Jeeva, as an independent candidate, on Tuesday. With this, he has so far filed 177 nomination papers in the elections since 1988.

Two other people from Naam Tamilar Katchi have also filed nomination to the by-election that will take place on November 19. On October 17, the EC had announced the election to the Thiruparankundram assembly constituency on November 19, after the demise of the winning candidate of the constituency. S M Seenivel of the AIADMK won the seat in May but died on May 25, without assuming charge as MLA. It is the first by-election in the constituency’s history.

After the model code of conduct came into force, four teams including two flying squads have been constituted which have so far seized Rs5.6lakh in the constituency, the returning officer said.

“No independent candidate can win the election because money plays a major role. But I continue to file nomination papers to enter the Guinness Book of World Records. I will not campaign. My job is complete after filing the nomination,” said Padmarajan.

According to him, his forefathers migrated from Kerala to Athur in Salem a century ago. He is engaged in tyre business in Mettur, Salem. He filed his first nomination to the Mettur assembly constituency in the 1986 assembly election. Since then, he has contested against key candidates across the state.

He became popular after he was kidnapped after filing his nomination, contesting against the former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao in Nandyal, Andhra Pradesh in 1991. Subsequently, he opposed the former prime minister A B Vajapayee in Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. He has shared his name with the former and present chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, M Karuanidhi and J Jayalalithaa, in past elections.

His nominations in 5 Lok Sabha seats and 3 assembly seats – Mettur, Athur and Bargur, in the general elections to the Lok Sabha and the Tamil Nadu Assembly, 1996, neccessitated a law which barred candidates from filing nominations in more than two constituencies.

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