Chennai, Jan 31 (PTI) The AIADMK factions led by former Chief Ministers, it appears, are expecting ally BJP to end the uncertainty in supporting a candidate of their respective choice for the Erode East Assembly by-poll for which filing of nominations commenced on Tuesday.
The BJP is not keen on contesting the by-election, necessitated by the demise of lawmaker Thirumahan Everaa, son of Congress leader E V K S Elangovan, who has been fielded now. And with the Tamil Maanila Congress, which contested on AIADMK's Two Leaves symbol in 2021, endorsing support to the K Palaniswami-led faction of the AIADMK, the BJP has tacitly allowed the Palaniswami group and another faction led by O Panneerselvam to either arrive at a consensus in naming a common candidate or test their respective strengths in the electoral battle on their own.
Asserting that this by-poll is not meant for the BJP, State chief of the party K Annamalai said "our poll battle is the 2024 Lok Sabha election. We are not under any constraint to prove our strength in the February 27 by-election." Nevertheless, his party wanted a strong contender for Erode East so that the Congress is defeated at the hustings, he said. "This election should expose the true intent of the DMK…We will announce our stand (on supporting AIADMK candidate) in a day or two," Annamalai said.
A senior leader in the BJP said with both the AIADMK leaders remaining unrelenting in supporting a consensus candidate, a weak opposition candidate may work in favour of the DMK-Congress combine.
Meanwhile, 4 independents: Padmarajan from Salem, Noor Mohamed from Coimbatore, Sankarapandi from Madurai and Ramesh of Namakkal, filed their papers when filing of nominations began this morning. The filing of nomination will end on February 7 in the constituency where the Election Commission and police have stepped up security arrangements. PTI JSP SS SS