There was latent anger against Thambi Durai: Jothimani
Young Congress leader S Jothimani has emerged as the ‘giant killer’ of the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu having defeated AIADMK propaganda secretary and Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha M Thambi Durai by a margin of over 4 lakh votes in Karur. In this interview with The Hindu, the Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s handpicked candidate reflects on her victory and more. Excerpts: Having lost two elections – the last time you polled just about 30,000 votes in Karur – you have emerged as a giant killer. How did this happen? This time so many factors worked in our favour. In Tamil Nadu, there was a wave in favour of the DMK-led alliance and against Modi. Also, people generally have this perception about politicians that they are all rich, they don’t come from normal backgrounds, won’t be around the public. I was exactly opposite to this perception among the people. The views against my candidature both within the party and outside was that I did not have money and so why waste a seat? I think this reached the voters. But our president Rahul Gandhi was very clear that honest people, those who have done work among the people cannot be denied a ticket just because they don’t have money, that they have to be definitely given opportunities and people will accept that and make us win. I can clearly say that he pushed my case and the DMK accepted my candidature wholeheartedly.