Hinting that the BJP would support the AIADMK candidate in the byelection to the Erode (East) Assembly constituency, State BJP president K. Annamalai on Monday in Tiruchi said the AIADMK had many strong contenders to take on the DMK-Congress candidate E.V.K.S. Elangovan.
In an informal chat with journalists, he said the AIADMK was the bigger party in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the State.
The candidate against the ruling alliance should be strong and familiar to the electorate and should belong to Erode. In the bypolls, the ruling parties would invariably use all of their resources to influence the voters.
He claimed that the formation of election committees involving many Ministers by the DMK showed it would influence the voters with money and muscle power. In such a situation, the Opposition candidate should be strong enough on various aspects to defeat the DMK-Congress candidate, Mr. Annamalai said and added that the AIADMK had several strongmen in Erode.
To a question on the demand from some leaders of his party to field a candidate in the byelection, Mr. Annamalai said there was nothing wrong in their aspiration. However, several aspects had to be taken into account while taking on a ruling alliance candidate in a bypoll, which was not a scale to measure the strength of the party.
The BJP leader said the AIADMK had started receiving applications from aspiring candidates. Former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam had also met him. The BJP’s stand was that there should not be any division in garnering votes against the ruling alliance.
Only one candidate should be fielded from the main Opposition alliance parties. The person should be a formidable candidate. The bypoll should not be construed as an opportunity to measure the support base of the parties. The BJP would muster all possible support to the candidate to defeat the DMK-Congress, Mr. Annamalai said.