CHENNAI: Senior State BJP leaders on Friday indicated that a decision on the party contesting the by-elections to the post of mayor in the Coimbatore, Tirunelveli and Tuticorin corporations as well as other vacancies would be taken in “a day or two”. The by-polls to the local bodies have been scheduled for September 18.
While the senior BJP functionaries appear to be carrying on informal interactions among themselves, the saffron party’s State election committee is yet to be convened to take an official stand. “We have not officially met so far. We may meet on Saturday and take a decision on the issue,” according to a senior leader.
State president Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan told Express that while she was personally in favour of the party contesting the civic by-polls, it was for the BJP’s State election committee to take a final decision. “The elections were announced only on Thursday. We can convene the election committee meet in 24 hours, if need be. And, I will put my views across,” she said. “We are strong in places like Kovai, Ramanathapuram and Coonoor.”
The party cadre too appear to be particularly keen on contesting the Coimbatore mayor post. In the recent Lok Sabha elections to the Coimbatore constituency, BJP candidate C P Radhakrishnan finished as runner-up. Soundararajan, who was elected as the party’s State unit chief recently, said the election committee meeting would also decide whether the party should go it alone in the by-polls or rope in its NDA partners, such as the MDMK, DMDK and PMK.
While the AIADMK swiftly announced its candidates for the three mayoral posts on Friday itself, the DMK has decided to boycott the by-elections. The BJP central leadership’s three-month-long dilly-dallying in the appointment of a new president after incumbent Pon Radhakrishnan became a Union minister and the continuing delay in announcing the ‘prabhari’ (State in-charge) have taken a toll on the party, an activist rued.