Chennai, Feb 1 (IANS): AIADMK interim General Secretary K. Palaniswami (EPS) on Wednesday announced former MLA K.S. Thenarassu will be the party candidate for the Erode East by-election, slated to be held on February 27.
AIADMK has commenced a silent, door-to-door campaign. Senior party leader and former minister K.A. Sengottayian, who is in charge of the election, is planning a door-to-door campaign in the first round to get a feel of the electorate.
The AIADMK is on a sticky wicket as the seat in 2021 was won by the DMK-led front candidate, E. Thirumahan Everaa of the Congress whose passing away necessitated the by-election.
Thirumahan Everaa defeated M. Yuvaraj of the Tamil Manila Congress, of the AIADMK front by a margin of 8,924 votes. Overcoming this vote margin is a major task for the AIADMK and the DMK front has already announced veteran Congress leader and father of the deceased legislator, E.V.K.S. Elangovan as its candidate.
Coupled with the sympathy factor and the performance of the M.K. Stalin government, it seems to be an easy ride for the DMK but the AIADMK needs to somehow wrest the seat to be in the reckoning in the state's political landscape.
The BJP is not likely to contest the elections even though there is pressure from party cadres. The AIADMK, is a part of the NDA, and hence the BJP is likely to support its candidate.
Sources in the AIADMK say that the party had conducted an internal survey in which the AIADMK is neck and neck with the DMK and that there are possibilities of its victory.
Senogttayian, a master tactician for AIADMK, has conducted a detailed study of the voter list and has stated that the party would give a representation to the Election Commission to remove all those who have shifted their residence from the constituency as well as those who died.
Erode is in the Kongu belt, making the contest prestigious for Palaniswami as it is his turf. Sources in the party told IANS that Sengottayian has already conducted three rounds of meeting with the party booth unit presidents and that he has chalked out a clear-cut strategy to win the seat.
With the party announcing its candidate, the campaign will now gain momentum and almost all senior party leaders will be camping at East Erode to ensure the party's victory.