CHENNAI: The Congress and DMK may have had a head start in launching the bypoll campaign in Erode East Assembly constituency, but, the AIADMK and its ally the BJP, intensified their campaign making electioneering in the constituency balanced.
The campaign will reach a high decibel level next week when BJP state chief K Annamalai is expected to take up a blitzkrieg campaign against the ruling DMK, which is supporting the Congress candidate EVKS Elangovan in the February 27 bypoll.
Chief Minister MK Stalin is also set to hit the campaign trail and raise the pitch as the opposition has been targeting the alleged unfulfilled poll promises of the DMK government.
AIADMK interim general secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami has been training his guns on the state government, and local civic issues appear to virtually dwarf his campaign. Even the state government’s proposal to establish a pen monument in the sea off the coast of Marina beach has been made an election issue with the opposition parties asking the government to have the monument erected at the DMK state headquarters - Anna Arivalayam - instead of destabilising the marine ecosystem.
The CM is likely to counter the charges during his campaign in the constituency where his son and state Youth Welfare and Sports Development Minister Udhayanidhi and Parliamentarian sister Kanimozhi, who is DMK’s deputy general secretary, are expected to join.
“The hike in property tax and power tariff have affected the common man and industries as well. People find the steep revision burdensome,” said AIADMK candidate and former lawmaker KS Thennarasu, who is assisted by former AIADMK ministers, BJP leaders and legislators from both the parties, in the campaign.
The opposition canons have increased their presence in the constituency to counter the claims of the state Ministers who have been garnering votes on the good performance card of the Chief Minister.
While introducing his candidate, Palaniswami said the results of the Erode East by-election would turn out to be in favour of the AIADMK and it would indicate the party’s victory in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The powerloom sector in Erode, which flourished during the AIADMK regime, is in deep crisis now due to the steep hike in power tariff up to 52 per cent, he had said.
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