The Election Commission on Tuesday announced that the by-election to the Pennagaram Assembly constituency in Dharmapuri will be held on January 20, 2010.

The model code of conduct comes into effect immediately. Counting will be on January 23.The notification will be issued on December 26.

The last date for filing of nominations is January 2 and for withdrawal of papers, January 6.

The by-election was necessitated by the death of the MLA representing Pennagaram, P.N. Periannan (54), on December 1.

This will be the eleventh by-election in the current Assembly.

Periannan is the sixth MLA to pass away in the 13th Assembly.

The first was a Minister in the DMK government, P.T.R. Palanivel Rajan, a former Speaker.

This was followed by the death of MLAs S.P. Jayaraman (DMK), D. Selvaraj (Congress), S.V. Shanmugam (AIADMK) and former POTA detainee and MDMK leader Veera Ilavarasan. Apart from this, four MLAs shifted their loyalties, while one resigned to contest the Lok Sabha election.

Former AIADMK Minister Raja Kannappan, who contested and won as a DMK candidate, went back to the AIADMK, while another former AIADMK Minister Anitha Radhakrishan shifted loyalties to the DMK. Two MDMK leaders, M. Kannappan and Cumbum N. Ramakrishnan, moved from the breakaway party, MDMK, to the parent party, DMK.

M. Thambidurai (AIADMK), who represented Bargur constituency, resigned after he won from the Karur Parliamentary constituency.