Chennai’s First Youngest Dalit Woman As Mayor

Story Highlights
  • R Priya will be the youngest woman and the first Dalit to hold this post.
  • The DMK has nominated R Priya as their Mayor candidate for the Chennai corporation.
  • R Rajan her father is the area co-secretary for the DMK.

Chennai: Youngest and first-ever Dalit woman is all set to be mayor after the ruling party Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) named R Priya (28) for the post on Thursday. Indirect elections for the post of mayor and chairpersons for the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) will be held on Friday (March 4th). However, with the DMK having as many as 153 councillors of a total of 200 wards, Priya’s election is a foregone conclusion.

Besides the 153 councillors, the DMK’s allies have another 25 councillors in the GCC. Priya will be the third woman to become Mayor of Chennai after Tara Cherian and Kamakshi Jayaraman. The granddaughter of former DMK MLA Chennai Sivam, she hails from a family with a strong political background. Her father, R Rajan, is the area co-secretary for the DMK, according to the sources. The soon-to-be Chennai mayor has an M.Com degree. Priya was elected councillor from ward number 74 after her party registered a landslide victory in the recently concluded Tamil Nadu urban local body elections.

Priya says that her interest in politics and passion to help her neighbourhood was fuelled by the DMK coming back to power in the state in last year’s Assembly elections. She also says that it is important for young people to become involved in politics: “They will have new ideas, new energy. They will have fresh ways of seeing things. This is needed.”

The DMK bagged all the 21 municipal corporations, with 946 wards in corporations, 2,360 in municipalities and as many as 4,388 in town panchayats. Surprisingly, this includes local bodies in home turfs of AIADMK leaders, including former Chief Ministers K Palaniswami (Edappadi, Salem district) and O Panneerselvam (Periyakulam, Theni district).

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