Erode (East) bypoll | Decks cleared for AIADMK’s nominee

Election Commission forwards to RO documents submitted by Tamilmagan Hussain

February 07, 2023 12:09 am | Updated 12:52 pm IST - CHENNAI

Representational image. File

Representational image. File | Photo Credit: GOVARTHAN M

The decks were cleared on Monday for the AIADMK to put up former MLA K.S. Thennarasu as its nominee in the Erode (East) by-election, with the Election Commission of India (ECI) forwarding to Returning Officer (RO) K. Sivakumar documents submitted by the party’s presidium chairman, A. Tamilmagan Hussain.

Earlier, the faction, led by ousted coordinator O. Panneerselvam, announced in Chennai the withdrawal of its candidate B. Senthil Murugan, who filed his nomination on Friday last. A communication, sent by Under-Secretary in the ECI Manish Kumar to the RO, referred to the Supreme Court’s interim order issued last week.

The order authorised Mr. Hussain to handle all official communication on behalf of the party for the “limited purpose” of putting up a candidate in the byelection.

The communication mentioned that Mr. Hussain had presented Forms A and B (which are to be presented to the RO to certify that the candidate in question is the genuine nominee of the party).

The development followed Mr. Hussain presenting the documents to the ECI in New Delhi.

Mr. Thennarasu has been nominated by AIADMK interim general secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami as the candidate of his camp. The byelection is scheduled for February 27.

Flanked by Rajya Sabha Member and former Law Minister C. Ve. Shanmugam and former MLA I.S. Inbadurai, the AIADMK’s presidium chairman told reporters in New Delhi after meeting the ECI officials that a majority of the general council members had “elected” Mr. Thennarasu as the party’s candidate.

Majority support

Mr. Shanmugam said that of the 2,665 members of the general council, 2,501 voted for Mr. Thennasrasu and “not a single vote was cast against him”.

Of the remaining members, the tenure of two had lapsed as a result of the end of their term in the legislature. Two others had quit the party, while 15 members had died. Besides, 145 members did not send their responses.

Mr. Shanmugam reiterated that the presidium chairman had sent a circular to all the members of the general council. The communication was sent through email, the social media and direct messengers, as also by speed post and registered post.

Explaining the latest move of the Panneerselvam’s camp, K.P. Krishnan, deputy coordinator and a former Minister, said the decision had been made as his camp had emerged “victorious” from several measures taken by it.

“We want to ensure the success of the ‘two-leaves’ symbol, left behind by party founder M.G. Ramachandran and his successor Jayalalithaa,” he said after taking part at a meeting chaired by Mr. Panneerselvam and attended by leaders, including R. Vaithilingam and J.C.D. Prabhakar.

Last week, BJP leaders separately met Mr. Palaniswami as well as Mr. Panneerselvam and asked them to work in a “united AIADMK”. The national party later expressed its preference for Mr. Panneerselvam to withdraw his candidate from the fray.

On Sunday, Mr. Panneerselvam’s followers took exception to the manner in which Mr. Hussain had sought the opinion of members of the general council on the party’s nominee. They complained that the interim order of the Supreme Court in the matter had been “violated.”

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