Facing her first major political battle after storming back to power in Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Sunday appealed to voters to back her AIADMK party in the upcoming civic polls.

She also urged party workers, who did not get tickets for the October 17 and 19 civic polls, to withdraw their nominations and assured them that they would be rewarded at an “appropriate time.” “I have come to know some party workers have filed their nominations against party nominees. Such acts will only help the opposition,” she said in a statement.

The party leader said such workers would get an opportunity “at an appropriate time” to serve the people.

Her appeal came after a number of AIADMK volunteers staged a protest last week in front of a hotel in Tiruchirapalli, where ministers O Panneerselvam and K A Sengottaiyan were staying, over denial of tickets. Protests were also held at the party headquarters in Chennai.

AIADMK and DMK which formed rainbow alliances for the Assembly polls have dumped their respective allies and are vying to wrest seats in over 13,000 local bodies, including nine corporations and municipalities.