Erode (East) bypoll | Congress’ E.V.K.S. Elangovan to face Assembly election after 34 years

The last time Mr. Elangovan contested in an Assembly election was in 1989 in Bhavanisagar where he lost to the AIADMK candidate; following this, Mr. Elangovan contested in six Lok Sabha elections, winning only once, in 2004

Updated - January 26, 2023 10:19 am IST

Published - January 23, 2023 03:27 pm IST - CHENNAI

Former Tamil Nadu Congress Committee Chief E.V.K.S. Elangovan

Former Tamil Nadu Congress Committee Chief E.V.K.S. Elangovan | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Former Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC) president and Union Minister of State, E.V.K.S. Elangovan, 74, who has been nominated to contest in the Erode (East) by-election which is to be held on February 27, is entering the electoral fray in an Assembly constituency after a gap of 34 years.

The by-election has been necessitated by the death of Mr. Elangovan’s son and late MLA of Erode (East), E. Thirumahan Everaa earlier this month.  

The last time Mr. Elangovan contested was during the 1989 Assembly elections in Bhavanisagar. At that time, he was with the Tamizhaga Munnetra Munnani (TMM), led by veteran thespian Sivaji Ganesan, who had forged an alliance with the AIADMK, headed by former Chief Minister Janaki Ramachandran.

There were three other major contestants in the election then – fronts led by the DMK, AIADMK (Jayalalithaa faction) and the Congress. Mr. Elangovan finished fourth, polling 8,381 votes with a vote share of 7.9%. V.K. Chinnasamy of the AIADMK (Jayalalithaa) was the winner and that was the second time he was elected from that seat.

The runner-up was the DMK’s P.A. Swaminathan, who shot into prominence in 1967 by defeating former Union Minister C. Subramaniam in the Gobichettypalayam Lok Sabha constituency. Coincidentally, Housing and Urban Development Minister S. Muthusamy, now the prominent local face of the ruling DMK in Erode, shepherded the AIADMK(JR)-TMM coalition in what was called Periyar district in 1989 .  

The previous occasion when Mr. Elangovan, regarded as a follower of Sivaji Ganesan in the Congress till 1988, emerged successful in an Assembly election was in 1984 when he was elected from Sathyamangalam. Then, the AIADMK and the Congress were allies.  

After 1989, the former TNCC chief went back to the Congress and tried his luck only in Lok Sabha elections: Krishnagiri in 1996; Gobichettypalayam in 1998 and again in 2004; Erode in 2009; Tiruppur in 2014 and Theni in 2019.

Only in 2004 was he was successful, by bagging around 4.24 lakh votes with a margin of about 2.12 lakh votes over the nearest rival, N.R. Govindarajar of the AIADMK. At that time, he went on to hold the post of Union Minister of State for Textiles, Industry and Commerce. 

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