CHENNAI: The uncertainty over the allocation of the two-leaves symbol due to the wranglings within the AIADMK will likely make the by-election in the Erode East Assembly constituency interesting. The ruling DMK might give the Erode East seat to Congress since the deceased MLA EVR Thirumagan was from its ally. From the opposition camp, TMC candidate, M Yuvarja, had contested in the Two Leaves symbol in the constituency in the 2021 Assembly elections and came as the runner-up candidate.
When asked whether the TMC would contest this by-election, party president GK Vasan told TNIE it was too early to take a decision on that. Yuvaraja, too, said he would abide by the decision of the party president.
However, TMC sources indicated that Yuvaraja is keen on contesting this election as he had lost the 2021 elections by a few thousand votes. When it was pointed out that Yuvaraja could get around 60,000 votes due to the Two Leaves symbol, the sources said the party could field him on an independent symbol which the TMC had earlier contested. However, as of now, the TMC leadership is undecided on contesting the by-election.
Political analyst Tharasu Shyam is of the view that both Edappadi K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam would not like to see the Two Leaves symbol getting frozen due to their infighting, for since it would invite the wrath of the AIADMK cadre, who are already tired of the wranglings within the party. As such, there are chances that the seat might go to the TMC.
Political analyst Raveenthran Thuraisamy also said in the past, even when the Two Leaves symbol was available under the leadership of J Jayalalithaa, the AIADMK had faced electoral defeats. As such, given the prevailing situation, the AIADMK would leave the by-election to the TMC.
Asked about the possibility of BJP contesting the by-election in case TMC opting out, a senior leader said, “There is no such possibility as of now. We are in an alliance. Just for by-election, we can’t take such a decision. However, our party leadership will take a decision if such a situation arises and when ECI notifies the bypoll.”
Role of SC verdict
Asked whether the Supreme Court verdict on the case relating to the July 11 general council meeting would have an impact on this bypoll, political analyst Tharasu Shyam said, “It is unlikely, since the SC can only decide whether the GC meeting is valid or not.