Chennai: Soon after the Pongal jallikattu, Tamilnadu will witness a poll jallikattu, as the 28 January Tiruvarur by-election is a prestige issue for the ruling AIADMK, main Opposition DMK and the fledgling AMMK.
While the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, led by Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, has to prove its popularity among the masses, especially in the absence of J Jayalalithaa, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam needs a victory here due to two reasons : The seat fell vacant following the death of its president M Karunanidhi, and this is the first poll being faced by the DMK after M K Stalin became its chief.
And, for the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK), its performance in Tiruvarur will play a key role in deciding the political future of T T V Dhinakaran, who faced a setback after the Madras High Court upheld the disqualification of 18 MLAs supporting him. Hence, the three parties are gearing up for the do-or-die democratic battle.
Sources indicate that all the three are particular about fielding heavyweights and formal announcements are to be made in the days to come.
DMK leaders have gone a step ahead in this and urged party supremo Stalin to contest from Tiruvarur. “Because, it is Thalaivar’s constituency and Thalapathy will be the right choice,” one of them told News Today. But, Stalin, sources say, will not field himself.
Talking to reporters, the Leader of Opposition said, “Who will be contesting — whether it will be me or Duraimurugan or T R Baalu — will be known on 4 January.”
He was quick to add that “the DMK is fully prepared to face the election”.
AIADMK circles say a high-level committee, headed by Panneerselvam and Palaniswami, would pick the candidate soon.
“Many are keen to contest from Tiruvarur and one of the seniors will be nominated,” they added.
According to those in the AMMK, “TTV knows the pulse of the people and he is confident of emerging victorious in Tiruvarur, like how he did in R K Nagar. We will once again prove that Amma’s vote bank is with us.”