The by-elections to the Vandavasi reserved Assembly constituency and the Tiruchendur Assembly constituency will be held on December 19.

The MLA from Tiruchendur, Anita Radhakrishnan, a former All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Minister, quit his party and the seat to join the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

The Vandavasi MLA, S.P. Jayaraman of the DMK, passed away after a prolonged illness .

According to the Election Commission, the filing of nominations will begin on November 25 and end on December 2. Scrutiny will be taken up the next day. Candidates can withdraw nominations till December 5. Counting will be on December 23.

Chief Electoral Officer Naresh Gupta said that the model code of conduct had come into force in the respective districts of Tiruvannamalai and Tuticorin. The Special District Revenue Officer (Land Acquisition), SIPCOT (Extension), Cheyyar, will be the Returning Officer for Vandavasi. For Tiruchendur, the District Revenue Officer of Tuticorin will be the RO.

The Election Commission had directed that with the announcement of the by-elections, Ministers and other authorities shall not announce any financial grants in any form or make promises thereof, make any promise of construction of roads, provision of drinking water facilities, and so on, or make any ad hoc appointments in the government, public undertakings, and so on, which may have the effect of influencing the voters in favour of the party in power.

Ministers should also not lay foundation stones of projects or schemes of any kind.

AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa on Friday said her party would contest the by-elections to Tiruchendur and Vandavasi. She said she had never announced that the AIADMK would permanently boycott elections.

Talking to reporters, Ms. Jayalalithaa recalled the AIADMK’s boycott of the by-elections to five Assembly constituencies held on August 18, “to express its opposition to the irregularities in the elections.”

“Now we’ve decided to contest,” she said. The AIADMK had already participated in by-elections to local bodies.

Asked whether she had plans to rope in any political party into the AIADMK alliance, she said the issue could not be discussed now.

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