Erode (East) bypoll | Process to select AIADMK nominee vitiated, says Panneerselvam faction

Published - February 05, 2023 10:27 pm IST - CHENNAI

B. Senthil Muruganm, nominee of the AIADMK’s O. Panneerselvam faction, files his papers in Erode on February 3, 2023.

B. Senthil Muruganm, nominee of the AIADMK’s O. Panneerselvam faction, files his papers in Erode on February 3, 2023. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

A day after AIADMK presidium chairman A. Tamil Magan Hussain sent out a communication to general council members seeking their response for finalising the party’s official candidate for the Erode (East) byelection, supporters of former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam disputed the process and alleged it violated the order of the Supreme Court.

Former Minister R. Vaithilingam, flanked by Panruti Ramachandran, J.C.D. Prabhakar and Paul Manoj Pandian, addressed reporters in Chennai on Sunday evening, disapproving of the process being followed by Mr. Hussain. They claimed it was not appropriate and there was no secrecy in their votes.

According to the communication from Mr. Hussain to members of the general council, Edappadi K. Palaniswami has proposed the name of former MLA K.S. Thennarasu as the party’s official candidate for the byelection. They could also inform if they wanted to propose someone else. The members are also to authorise Mr. Hussain to sign the nomination papers for the party’s official candidate. Mr. Hussain is also to inform the Election Commission and the Supreme Court of the party’s official candidate.

“The general council should decide on the official candidate. If Mr. Tamil Magan Hussain announces the official candidate in advance, it seems he has premeditated his decision. It is not only unneutral but also violates the order of the Supreme Court,” Mr. Vaithilingam said, reading out from a four-page text.

Mr. Ramachandran claimed that as per the Supreme Court order, a list of individuals wanting to contest should be provided, whereas Mr. Hussain has issued a “referendum” seeking to know whether the members supported Mr. Thennarasu’s candidature. While the name of Mr. Senthil Murugan, who has already submitted the nomination (as a nominee of the Panneerselvam faction) was missing, Mr. Hussain was announcing that Mr. Thennarasu, who has not submitted its papers as yet, was contesting.

Mr. Hussain had no authority to snatch the rights of other candidates to contest and it was against the Supreme Court order, they said. “General council members were of the view that Mr. Hussain was not only unneutral but also being an agent of the Edappadi faction,” the representatives said.

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