The AIADMK may wait till the ruling DMK takes a decision on fielding a nominee for the Erode East Assembly by-election, according to senior leaders of the party.
Ordinarily the party that contested in the seat, regardless of the outcome in the previous occasion, should get another opportunity to try its luck. “But, if the DMK enters the fray, we cannot remain a mute spectator by letting our alliance partner field its nominee,” says one of the leaders.
In the 2021 Assembly election, the AIADMK allotted the constituency to the Tamil Maanila Congress (Moopanar), led by G.K. Vasan, even though the latter’s candidate, M. Yuvaraja, contested on the symbol of the two leaves. He lost to E. Thirumahan Everaa of the Congress by a margin of about 8,900 votes. The by-election has been necessitated by the death of Thirumahan Everaa on January 4, 2023.
In 2019, when the State went to by-polls in 22 Assembly constituencies along with Lok Sabha elections, the DMK and the AIADMK decided to fight it out between themselves even though the Congress, as an ally of the DMK during the 2016 Assembly election, contested in seats such as Sholinghur and Hosur.
S. Semmalai, one of the long-standing leaders of the AIADMK, endorsing his colleague’s point, however, hastens to add that the interim general secretary, Edapadi K. Palaniswami would consult the organisation’s headquarters office-bearers and local leaders, while deciding the matter.
The AIADMK, which has seen churnings in the last seven months, may have to experience one more challenge in the event of deciding to contest the by-election.
In such a scenario, the group, led by the party’s deposed coordinator O. Panneerselvam, would like to throw its hat in the race and both may stake a claim to the symbol - two leaves.
As of now, the two groups are awaiting the Supreme Court’s verdict on the validity of the general council meeting that took place in July last. Meanwhile, Mr. Panneerselvam has called a meeting of his group’s senior functionaries and district office-bearers on Monday (January 23).