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Former Mayor of Coimbatore joins DMK

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Former Coimbatore Mayor P. Rajkumar, who was with the AIADMK, joined the DMK in Chennai on Monday in the presence of party president M.K. Stalin, general secretary Duraimurugan, and Coimbatore east urban unit in-charge and MLA N. Karthik.

Hailing from a family of Congress supporters, Mr. Rajkumar began his political journey with the AIADMK. He served as the Opposition leader in the Coimbatore Corporation Council, the Corporation North Zone chairperson and the AIADMK urban district secretary.

Then AIADMK leader and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had nominated him as the party’s candidate for the mayorship by-election, following the resignation of the incumbent, S.M. Velusamy. Mr. Rajkumar’s political ascension began with this nomination. During his mayorship, Mr. Rajkumar performed a gaja puja — a form of worship with elephants — in March 2015. A few days prior to that, he had defended his doctoral thesis, titled “Emergence of Jayalalithaa as a mass leader”.

Soon thereafter, he fell out of favour with Municipal Administration Minister S.P. Velumani who, sources claimed, was unhappy with Mr. Rajkumar’s independent style of functioning. The civic administration suffered as a result of the differences between the two, and Mr. Rajkumar’s powers were clipped. After the death of Jayalalithaa, he largely remained on the sidelines, and was hardly seen at AIADMK events.

He was not available for comment.

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