Do-or-die battle for govt, AIADMK chiefs tell by-poll in-charge

Chennai: The ruling AIADMK’s in-charge for by-elections in the 20 constituencies have been asked to start all poll-related works right after Deepavali.

A meeting of the organisers was held at the party headquarters at Royapettah here today and was chaired by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who are the joint coordinator and coordinator of the party. Other senior leaders also took part.

Sources said the strategy to be followed during the by-elections was discussed during the meeting.

The organisers for the 20 constituencies were appointed 30 October and the first stage of discussion was held the same day. They have been advised to ensure that the party emerges victorious in the by-election to ensure that the government continues to stay in power.

“While the number of MLAs on our side reduced because of the disqualification, we should not become the reason for the downfall of this government formed by former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and should work hard to emerge as winners. This is a do-or-die battle for us,” the party chiefs advised the organisers.

They have asked the organisers to find out the problems in the constituencies and bring them to the notice of the ministers and get them rectified at the earliest.

The organisers have also been asked to set up booth-level committees immediately and formulate a plan to face the elections.

With AMMK founder T T V Dhinakaran announcing that they will not appeal in the 18 MLAs disqualification case, by-polls for these constituencies along with Thiruparankundram and Tiruvarur are expected to be announced soon.

In a related development, disqualified AIADMK MLA and Dhinakaran supporter Thanga Tamilselvan today said there are chances for the by-election for the 20 constituencies to be held along with the Lok Sabha polls in 2019.

“There is very little chance of by-elections being conducted for the 20 constituencies in the near future. Maybe, elections will be held to Thiruparankundram and Tiruvarur alone for now,” he said.

NT Bureau