Erode bypoll: Paatali Makkal Katchi not to contest election

PMK president Anbumani Ramadoss, in a statement, said that the party does not support the elections if it is necessitated following the death of an MLA or if an MLA joins another party.
PMK president Anbumani Ramadoss
PMK president Anbumani RamadossANI

CHENNAI: The Paatali Makkal Katchi (PMK) would not contest the upcoming Erode (East) bye-election scheduled to be held on February 27, citing that the election is a "waste of people's tax money and time". The party has also decided not to even support any other political party in this election.

PMK president Anbumani Ramadoss, in a statement, said that the party does not support the elections if it is necessitated following the death of an MLA or if an MLA joins another party. The statement came after PMK had a high-level meeting headed by party founder and leader Ramadoss where he and senior leaders of the party participated.

"PMK has a stand that a bye-election is not needed if an MLA dies or any MLA joins another party and makes the seat vacant since it's a waste of people's tax money and time," the statement said. The party also opined that instead of conducting another election which causes a "waste of people's tax money and time", an MLA can be announced by the same political party from which the MLA won before.

The Election Commission on Wednesday announced a bypoll to the Erode (East) constituency in Tamil Nadu on February 27. The counting of votes will be done on March 2. The filing of nominations would start on January 31 and end on February 7. The Erode (East) bypoll was necessitated due to the death of Congress MLA Thirumagan, the great-grandson of social reformer 'Periyar' EV Ramasamy and son of former Union minister EVKS Elangovan.

Former Congress leader and Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC) founder, G K Vasan, whose party candidate was a runner-up in the 2021 Assembly election from this constituency, also withdrew from the race in support of the AIADMK, putting the BJP in a quandary either to support ally AIADMK or go solo. The bye-election will be a litmus test for the AIADMK as the constituency falls in its bastion of western Tamil Nadu, where the DMK is making efforts to make inroads.

Meanwhile, AIADMK leader and former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, involved in an acrimonious leadership tussle with another former CM E Palaniswami, on Saturday announced to field his party candidate for the February 27 by-poll in Erode East Assembly constituency. This will be the first bypoll in Tamil Nadu after the DMK-led alliance won the 2021 Assembly polls.

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