Erode (East) bypoll : Panneerselvam’s camp announces withdrawal of its candidate

The camp led by the AIADMK’s deposed coordinator, O. Panneerselvam, on Monday decided to withdraw its candidate, B. Senthil Murugan, for the Erode (East) bypoll from the fray. The bypoll is scheduled for February 27.

The announcement was made by K. P. Krishnan, former Minister and deputy coordinator of the camp, at a press meet in Chennai on Monday, after a meeting chaired by Mr. Panneerselvam with his supporters.

The former Minister was flanked by R. Vaithilingam, joint coordinator, and J.C.D. Prabhakar, another deputy coordinator of the camp. Mr. Senthil Murugan had filed his nomination papers on Friday last.

Mr. Krishnan claimed the decision had been made as his camp had emerged “victorious” from of several measures taken by it. “We want to ensure the success of the ‘two-leaves’ symbol,” left behind by the party’s founder M.G. Ramachandran, and his successor Jayalalithaa,” he added.

The AIADMK camp led by Edappadi K. Palaniswami had nominated former MLA K. S. Thennarasu as their candidate for the bypoll. Last week, BJP leaders had met both Mr. Palaniswami and Mr. Panneerselvam and asked them to work in a “united AIADMK”. The national party had later expressed its preference for Mr. Panneerselvam to withdraw his candidate from the fray.

On Sunday, Mr. Panneerselvam’s followers took exception to the manner in which the AIADMK presidium chairman A. Tamilmagan Hussain, had sought the opinion of members of the general council on the party’s nominee. They complained that the interim order of the Supreme Court in the matter had been “violated.”

Mr. Hussain, along with former Law Minister, C. Ve. Shanmugam, is expected to meet officials of the Election Commission on Monday evening, and submit all the documents concerning the choice of the candidate for the by-poll.

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