A marriage that voters will decide

Who said marriages are made in heaven? For AIADMK candidate for Kumbakonam Assembly constituency, Mr R. Ramanathan (popularly known as Rama. Ramanathan), it is the voters who will decide whether he gets married as he has taken a vow of celibacy until he is elected again to the Assembly under the chief ministership of J. Jayalalithaa.

The 47-year-old prospective groom and a one-time MLA, Mr Ramanathan, sporting the brahminical tuft, kadukkan on both earlobes and angavastram on his shoulder, still remains an eligible bachelor as he could not fulfil his vow of celibacy taken a decade ago.
Mr Ramanathan was elected to the Assembly from Kumbakonam constituency in 1991 when he was barely 27. He defeated his nearest rival S. Kumarasamy of the Janata Dal with a margin of 31,309 votes. However, did not marry then as he was “in no mood” to get married. Thereafter, he unsuccessfully contested from Kumbakonam for the next three Assembly elections. He was defeated by DMK stalwart Ko.Si. Mani in 1996, 2001 and 2006 in a row. He lost the elections by a margin of 34,510 votes in 1996, 6,581 votes in 2001 and 14,141 votes in 2006.
It was when he contested for the third time in 2001 that he declared that he would get married only when he is elected to the Assembly under the chief ministership of Ms Jayalalithaa. Though Ms Jayalalithaa became chief minister in 2001, Mr Ramanathan did not make it to the Assembly.
Therefore, his vow to get married still remains unfulfilled. However, he has not lost hope. Luckily, this time, his archrival Ko.Si. Mani is not contesting and Mr Ramanathan will be crossing swords with a debutant DMK candidate, Mr Anbazhagan.
When contacted, Mr Ramanathan played down his vow by saying, “Making ‘Amma’ chief minister is now more important than getting married. However, the vow still holds good. I am now confident that I shall fulfil my vow after the elections are over,” he said.

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