The AIADMK on Wednesday announced its nominees for the October 21 Assembly bypolls to two seats in Tamil Nadu, which could well be a battle of pride for the ruling party. AIADMK Coordinator O Pannneerselvam and Joint Coordinator K Palaniswami announced the candidature of M R Muthamilselvan and V Narayanan for Vikravandi and Nanguneri constituencies, respectively. The top AIADMK leaders also announced the appointment of functionaries from its other district units for the two constituencies as in-charge. They said in a statement that a number of senior party functionaries including ministers will be joining the poll related work in the respective constituencies.
The bypoll comes close on the heels of the April 18 Lok Sabha elections which the DMK and its allies swept, winning 37 of the 38 seats in the hustings then.
The EC had then rescinded the poll to Vellore segment following recovery of cash, but the DMK won the constituency when the election was held last month, making it a near sweep for it and its allies. The AIADMK could only win the lone Theni Lok Sabha seat in the April 18 parliamentary polls. Along with the Lok Sabha elections, bypolls were also held to 22 Assembly seats, most of which had fallen vacant following the disqualification of 18 AIADMK MLAs who had revolted against Chief Minister K Palaniswami in August 2017. They had revolted against Palaniswami after he merged the faction led by him with that of then rebel leader and his now deputy, O Panneerselvam.
Though DMK won 13 of the 22 seats, Palaniswami could continue in power as the nine seats the AIADMK netted added to the the ruling party’s then tally of 114, taking it well beyond the simple majority mark of 117.
The bypoll to Vikravandi was necessitated following the death of incumbent DMK MLA K Rathamani in June this year, while Congress legislator from Nanguneri, H Vasantha Kumar, resigned after being elected to Lok Sabha from Kanyakumari in April. The DMK is seeking re-election from Vikravandi and has fielded N Pugazhenthi, while allotting Nanguneri to ally Congress.