The 28-year-old R Priya of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) was sworn in as the youngest and first-ever Dalit mayor of Chennai on Friday.
Priya will be Chennai’s third woman mayor after Tara Cherian and Kamakshi Jayaraman.
This comes after in January this year the state government had passed an order reserving the post for a Scheduled Caste woman.
According to News Minute, Priya is also the first mayor from North Chennai—an area often neglected by various administrations and too often wrongly depicted in a majority of Tamil cinema as a place where rowdyism and violence abounds.
Priya was elected as a councillor of ward 74 Mangalapuram in the recently-concluded civic body polls.
“I saw that the CM is trying to make a difference, I wanted to be a part of it. There are many issues that this neighbourhood faces. Water comes mostly only on alternate days, the roads need to be improved. There are electricity concerns,” Priya said to TNM.
Priya is the daughter of ‘Perambur’ R Rajan, a ward-level DMK functionary in Thiru Vi Ka Nagar, who has been in the party for over 30 years, New Indian Express reported. “She was officially inducted into the party at the age of 20 but she has seen me and her uncle work right from when she was a child. She knows and understands the issues of the people well,” Rajan said.
Born and brought up in Chennai, Priya completed her MCom in Sri Kanyaka Parameswari Arts College for Women.
In this election, the DMK won a majority in all the 21 municipal corporations, including the Greater Chennai Corporation, and came out victorious in most of the 138 municipalities and 490 town panchayats.