Ministers RB Udayakumar, Dindigul C Sreenivasan, R Kamaraj and Sellur K Raju are now working overtime to ensure that the seats are bagged by the party. The ruling AIADMK had on Thursday convened a high-level meeting at its party headquarters to discuss various issues related to the party and brainstormed about the ensuing bypolls.
While the party is confident about retaining Tiruparankundram, earlier represented by AIADMK strongman AK Bose, its functionaries are worried about the outcome in the Tiruvarur constituency which fell vacant after the demise of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi. Though local minister R Kamaraj has begun preliminary discussions, the cadre fear that Karunanidhi’s demise could result in a sympathy wave impacting the prospects of the AIADMK.
However, the bypoll works for Tiruparankundram have begun at full swing and earlier in the day, ministers undertook bicycle rallies to cover the length and breadth of the constituency, almost resembling an election campaign. “We are ready for polls and Tiruparankundram has been a stronghold of the AIADMK. The cycle rallies are held in all southern districts to explain the good governance of the AIADMK. In case of Tiruparankundram, we are focussed as the seat is vacant,” Revenue Minister RB Udhayakumar told DT Next.
During the 2016 general elections, the Madurai district voted in favour of the AIADMK and this time too senior party leaders, including party convenor O Panneerselvam and deputy convenor Edappadi K Palaniswami, will campaign for the party’s victory, the minister said.
Meanwhile, the high-level meeting at the party headquarters discussed the ongoing case in the Delhi High Court on a petition filed by ousted AIADMK functionary KC Palanisamy challenging the appointment of Panneerselvam and Palaniswami as the party convenor and co-convenor. The AIADMK’s stand on fuel price hike and the ongoing tug-of-war between the BJP and the party were also discussed.
“Both the seats will play a crucial role for the AIADMK sitting on a wafer-thin margin. We will easily win the Tiruparankundram seat, but the party has to work hard to win Tiruvarur, the native place of Karunanidhi,” former AIADMK MLA Ku Seenivasan said.