With the ruling AIADMK naming P. Saroja, wife of deceased Yercaud MLA C. Perumal, as its candidate for the by-election caused by his death, the stage is now set for a keen contest in the December 4 by-poll.
Ms. Saroja called on Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Wednesday. As the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), led by actor Vijayakant, is also keen on entering the fray, the constituency is likely to witness a three-cornered contest.
The DMK has already announced that V. Maran will be its candidate.
Winning by-elections has always been a prestige issue for ruling parties in Tamil Nadu. Of late, showing a very large margin of victory has become an obsession.
While the AIADMK has succeeded in getting the support of both the CPI(M) and CPI, DMK leader M. Karunanidhi’s efforts to bring the opposition on one platform to back his candidate has failed to materialise.
The two Left parties spurned his request to support the DMK candidate.
The Congress, erstwhile ally of the DMK, which voted in favour of Kanimozhi in the Rajya Sabha election, has made it clear that it is in no hurry to spell out its stand as its priority is the Assembly elections in five States.
A few days ago, CPI(M) State secretary G. Ramakrishnan announced his party’s decision to support the AIADMK candidate on the ground that Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was firm on opposing the neo-economic policies of the Congress-led UPA at the Centre.
On Wednesday, CPI state secretary D. Pandian said as the CPI(M) already indicated its stand, his party also would adopt a similar line in the by-poll.
PMK leader S. Ramadoss had already made it clear that his party would neither contest the polls nor support any party. BJP has decided to stay away from the election, but has not yet revealed whether it would support candidates of other political parties.
This will be the fourth Assembly by-election in Tamil Nadu since the AIADMK came to power in 2011.
Tiruchi (West) and Pudukottai constituency went to the polls after the legislators representing the constituencies were killed in road accidents.
The death of C. Karuppasamy, a two-time minister, led to a by-election to Sankarankoil constituency.
The ruling party won all three elections.