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Symbol fight may push AIADMK to give seat to TMC in erode

Symbol fight may push AIADMK to give seat to TMC in erode

Following the demise of Congress MLA Thirumagan Everaa, the election commission has announced byelection to the Erode East constituency on February 27. The announcement has taken political parties in the state by surprise as it has come almost two weeks after the demise of Thirumagan who was the son of former union minister EVKS Elangovan and great grandson of social reformer ‘Periyar’ EV Ramasamy. He died of illness on January 4.

After the constituency fell vacant, the state election commission had communicated the same to the Election Commission of India (ECI) and it was said that the byelection date would be announced within six months.
The ECI commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Wednesday announced the assembly election dates for three Northeast states – Nagaland, Tripura and Meghalaya. Along with that, he announced the byelection dates for Erode East constituency. He said, nominations to contest in the byelection would be accepted till January 31 and election would be conducted on February 27.

Following the announcement, the byelection has obtained all the attention in the state with the political parties having commenced their alliance talks.   Even though information had leaked that DMK is planning to nominate its candidate in the constituency, it is said to have changed its mind to allocate the seat to Congress as per their poll pact. Unlike the ruling DMK, the byelection is going to be a challenge for the AIADMK especially now when the party is divided into two factions – one led by Edappadi K Palaniswami and the other led by O Panneerselvam - following the raise of demand for single leadership.

Even though the party’s general council had announced EPS as the interim general secretary of the party, the ECI is yet to recognize the decision.  Also, for the ECI to allocate two leaves symbol to AIADMK, both EPS and OPS in their power as coordinator and joint coordinator are required to sign in the election documents.  
Else, EPS needs to get the Supreme Court judgement in his favour in the pending cases filed by OPS challenging the general council’s decision and get it approved by ECI.

Only then he would be able to nominate his candidate in two leaves symbol without the support of OPS.  It is highly impossible as the nomination filling commences barely in 12 days. So, they are likely to go ahead with their 2021 alliance. In the 2021 assembly election, Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) – an ally of AIADMK - contested in the constituency. TMC’s candidate Yuvaraj contested in two-leaves symbol against Thirumagan in the constituency. But he lost to Thirumagan who won with 67,300 votes.

Yuvaraj bagged 58,396 votes.  To try the party’s luck again in the constituency by nominating a TMC candidate in the byelection, the party’s chief GK Vasan had a discussion with AIADMK functionaries at his office on Thursday.  The functionaries had assured to communicate the minutes of the meeting to EPS who would take a final decision on it.  It is also noted that AIADMK is showing keen interest to nominate its candidate in the constituency.