Despite the swirling controversy, Ravindranath is unfazed. In a brief chat with BusinessLine , he responded to some of the charges levelled against him and his father. Excerpts:

Your candidature has drawn a lot of criticism, particularly because of your father’s opposition to the domination by the Sasikala’s family?

Please do not compare my case with TTV’s. He is someone expelled by Amma for anti-party activities. And according to party rules, one has to be a continuous member of the party for five years before he or she can stake claim for a seat. This requirement obviously disqualifies TTV. Two, I got the seat because of my work over the last 18 years. I have enrolled more than one lakh people in the party. People in every village that I have been to in recent times want me to contest the elections. In fact, there was a strong demand in 2014 [LS polls] itself that I should contest. But Appa wanted Parthipan [the AIADMK candidate who won in 2014] to stand. So my candidature was always on the cards, but was just postponed.

The opposition has fielded a powerful candidate in Thanga Tamil Selvan?

The Two Leaves symbol and the party are my greatest strength. TTV is just doing some stunt. And people don’t believe in Thanga Tamil Selvan because he is someone who ditched people from his own constituency when he chose to go behind TTV. I am sure TTV’s RK Nagar formula will not work here, because people are very clear now. They have seen how we have been providing a stable government despite all these impediments. In addition, the government’s welfare schemes have reached the masses. They are very happy and I am confident of my victory.

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