Erode (East) bypoll | DMK has moved from ‘Thirumangalam formula’ to ‘Erode formula’: Palaniswami

Claiming that the residents of the constituency were forcibly confined to sheds throughout the day, Mr. Palaniswami termed it a ‘murder of democracy’ and said such incidents had never happened before, not only in Tamil Nadu but also in the country. He warned that if it continued, AIADMK would launch a protest.

Updated - February 24, 2023 02:17 pm IST

Published - February 23, 2023 07:47 pm IST - ERODE / MADURAI

AIADMK interim general secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami addressing party members in Erode on Thursday.

AIADMK interim general secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami addressing party members in Erode on Thursday. | Photo Credit: GOVARTHAN M

AIADMK interim general secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Thursday alleged that the DMK had moved from the ‘Thirumangalam formula’ to the ‘Erode formula’, in an indirect reference to alleged attempts to bribe voters on a large scale in the run-up to the Erode (East) byelection.

Claiming that the residents of the constituency were forcibly confined to sheds throughout the day, Mr. Palaniswami termed it a ‘murder of democracy’ and said such incidents had never happened before, not only in Tamil Nadu but also in the country. “The Election Commission and the police are inactive,” he alleged. He warned that if the confining of people to sheds continued, his party would launch a protest.

Following the Supreme Court verdict in his favour, he said the party cadre would work with more enthusiasm, and the AIADMK would win the byelection by a huge margin. “The DMK rule did not benefit the people of the constituency. We have implemented many welfare schemes, and the electors have benefited from them,” he said, and listed the various schemes implemented during the AIADMK regime.

Mr. Palaniswami said the rise in the prices of essential commodities, the breakdown of law and order, and the COVID-19 pandemic had caused financial hardship to the people. “In such a situation, the DMK hiked electricity charges and taxes, putting more burden on the people, who cannot bear it,” he said.

According to him, during the erstwhile AIADMK rule, power looms in the region were functioning throughout the year, as orders were placed regularly for dhotis and saris. “But the DMK did not place any order, leading to the closure of many power looms. This will reflect in the byelection,” he said.

Earlier, Mr. Palaniswami was given a rousing reception by senior leaders and cadre when he arrived at a private resort at Villarasampatti in Erode.  

‘Not free and fair’

Later, speaking at a community marriage function near Madurai, he reiterated the allegations of corruption and claimed that the Erode (East) byelection campaign was not being conducted in a free and fair manner.

Voters are being kept in captivity under shamiyanas by the ruling coalition, and are not let out even to relieve themselves,” he said.

The AIADMK had complained about the malpractice to the Chief Election Commissioner, the Chief Electoral Officer, the Erode Collector and the Returning Officer, but no action had been taken so far, he said.

Speaking in Tirumangalam, Mr. Palaniswami said voters were being confined as the ruling party and its allies did not have faith that they would vote for the Congress candidate.

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