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Mylapore: Amma all the way?

Mylapore existed before Chennai did. It is said that this is where the great poet Tiruvalluvar lived in the 1st Century BC. In the 7th and 8th centuries, when the Pallavas were rulers, Mamallapuram and Mylapore were their great ports, but the Portugese pushed Mylapore far from the shore by building Fort San Thome. Kapaleeswara Temple, the face of Mylapore, is said to be around 300 to 400 years old.

Initially, this 55-year old constituency had just 74,076 voters. By 2001, it had gone up to 2,88,708. In 1951 and 1957, the Congress candidates from Mylapore won. In 1962, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam snatched it all back. Since then -- barring 1971 -- Mylapore has sent only a Dravidain party candidate to Fort St George. But, in the 2001 elections, the constituency, dominated by Hindus, went to the Bharatiya Janata Party, when its candidate Lakshmanan defeated Dr Maitreyan of the AIADMK. This time around, Mylapore will witness a face-off between the ADMK's S Ve Shekher and the DMK's Napolean, film actors both.

rediff.com's Shobha Warrier goes around the famous Mylapore tank, tracking the fortunes of both candidates while she's at it.

Photographs: Sreeram Selvaraj

Also See: Amma came, saw and conquered

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