RK Nagar battle lines to be drawn by weekend

Parties begin selection of candidates for byelection.

Chennai: The battle lines for R K Nagar bypoll will become clearer this week as leading parties are involved in selection of candidates, while others are seriously deliberating the pros and cons of picking up the gauntlet.

The ruling AIADMK will hold its governing council meeting on March 15 to decide on its candidate. No other name except that of party deputy general secretary T.T.V. Dinakaran has cropped up in the party circles so far.

The breakaway group headed by former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam too has formed a governing council to choose the candidate. AIADMK presidium chairman E. Madhusudanan had contested in the seat in 1989 as the nominee of Jayalalithaa faction of the AIADMK and got over 25 per cent votes. Later, he was elected from the same seat in 1991 and became a minister. But, his age and health condition can hamper him from carrying out a hectic campaign.

All parties are keenly watching the move of the BJP following indications that state president Tamilisai Soundararajan could be fielded in RK Nagar, in the national party’s first initiative to storm the Dravidian citadel after a fabulous victory in Uttar Pradesh.

Showing surprising quickness, DMDK leader Vijayakanth, who used to delay any decision related to polls till the final hour, was the first to announce his North Chennai district secretary Madhivanan as the party candidate.

MDMK led by Vaiko had decided to wait and watch the developments in the other parties before making up its mind over throwing its hat in the ring.

The party’s high level meeting in Tiruchy on March 18, two days after the nomination date, will take a decision on contesting the bypoll. The PMK remains silent on by bypoll, while Naam Thamizhar has not announced its candidate.

The nominations for the bypoll will begin on March 16, but the parties have time till March 23. However, the bypoll seen as an indicator of the changing dynamics in state politics after Jayalalithaa’s demise, parties are very crucial for all parties. So, they are mostly likely to finalise their position and strategy before the end of this week to gain a headstart over their rivals.

Exemptions for travel expenses: Ahead of the RK Nagar by-election, exemptions for travel expenses should be communicated to the Election Commission of India/ Chief Electoral Officer on or before March 23, a week from the publishing of notification for the constituency’s by-election (March 16). The benefit will be available for maximum of 20 in the case of unrecognised political party and 40 for recognised political party.

DMK to announce RK Nagar bypoll candidate today

DMK working president M.K. Stalin on Monday conducted the interview for selection of candidates for RK Nagar bypoll and said the party nominee would be announced on March 14.

About 17 candidates including Shimla Muthuchozhan had attended the interview for candidate selection on Monday. Stalin was accompanied by DMK general secretary K. Anbazhagan and principal secretary K. Duraimurugan in the interview.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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