Chennai, Jan 20 (BPNS)
The East Erode by-elections in Tamil Nadu is turning crucial for the AIADMK interim general secretary and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS). The AIADMK is in one of the worst crisis after the expulsion of the former Chief Minister, O. Panneerselvam (OPS), and his close associates from the party. The AIADMK has also failed continuously in all elections after the 2019 general elections, including the assembly elections and the local body elections.
With the AIADMK directly taking on the Congress party supported by the DMK in East Erode by-elections on February 27 , the onus is on Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS) . It is to be noted that this is the sitting seat of the Congress, DMK combine with the Congress leader,E. Thirumahan Everaa winning the seat by a margin of 8904 votes against the TMC rival, M. Yuvaraj. The sad demise of Thirumahan Everaa has led to the by-election for the seat and the DMK has already allocated the seat to the Congress. The TMC has also said that it wont be fighting the poll and instead it will be the AIADMK that will contest.
AIADMK will have to overcome several hurdles to ensure a victory for its candidate- more likely former minister, K.V. Ramalingam. The DMK government in the state is only two years old and there are not many anti-incumbency factors against the government. More than that the government is popular among the public due to several welfare schemes including ‘Makkale Thedi Maruthavum’ scheme which means essential health services at the doorsteps of people. The AIADMK is also facing acute problems after the expulsion of O. Panneerselvam and his close associates and it has to be seen whether OPS will put a candidate in the elections.
Another factor looming heavily against the AIADMK is its ‘Two Leaf’ symbol as both EPS and OPS are fighting a case in the Supreme Court over the latter’s expulsion. In a recent communique, the election commission of India addressed OPS and EPS as Chief Coordinator and Coordinator. For allocation of the ‘Two Leaf’ symbol to the AIADMK candidate, the signature of both EPS and OPS is necessary and it has to be seen whether there will be a verdict from the Supreme Court before the last date of filing the nominations is over.
If the AIADMK candidate wins the polls, it will lead to a new era in AIADMK politics and EPS will be anointed as king in the party with no room for any dissident voice. However, if the AIADMK candidate loses the polls, then EPS will have to bear the brunt of the loss and he will be a loner among the leaders of the party.
The February 27 by-election for the East Erode seat will be a closely contested one and whatever the result, it will be extremely crucial for Edappadi K. Palaniswami.