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Battleground Erode East: Meet the top contenders of the bypoll

Here are the profiles of the major contendors in the Erode East assembly by-poll that would be held tomorrow.

Battleground Erode East: Meet the top contenders of the bypoll
(From L to R) EVKS Elangovan, KS Thennarasu and Menaka Navaneethan

CHENNAI: EVKS Elangovan (Congress)

The Veteran Congress leader would fight for the DMK-led Secular Progressive Alliance (SPA) in the Erode East constituency that fell vacant due to the demise of his son Thirumahan Everaa. The former Lok Sabha member is hailed as TN unit's firefighter by the top echelons of Congress party for ensuring the party survives and stays afloat despite split. While it was expected the by-poll ticket would go to Everaa's brother Sanjay, alliance leader DMK placed its bet on Elangovan due to his experience and that Sanjay was not into active politics. Elangovan has held the Minister of State in the Ministry of Textiles portfolio from 2004-2009. He was an MP from Gobichettipalayam during UPA-I, and was an MLA from Sathyamangalam from 1984-1989 on his electoral debut. He is married to Varalakshmi, and the couple has two sons, Thirumahan Everaa (Late) and Sanjay.

Previous performance

Lok Sabha Election (2019) in Theni constituency - Lost by 76,693 votes against OP Raveendranath.

What works

His political experience comes handy and he could ride the sympathy wave of his son's demise.

What doesn't

Elangovan's age and health may not be in his favour to actively work for his constituency, if in case he wins. Allegations of DMK confining voters into shelters could make his candidacy unpopular. The delay in distribution of Pongal veshtis and sarees has dismayed the power loom workers, and the possibility of this factor working against the DMK alliance is not negligible.

ये भी प�ें- Erode East by-election: High voltage campaign ends

KS Thennarasu (AIADMK)

Thennarasu is an old-timer in the party founded by former Chief Minister MG Ramachandran. He has held several party positions in Erode. Thennarasu has been the party's Erode district secretary in 1988, 1995 and 2000. He was also the district's MGR mandram secretary in 1999 and 2010. He has won twice in 2001 and 2016 assembly elections in this constituency. Thennarasu is married to Padmini, the couple has a son Kalaiarasan and a daughter Kalaivani.

Previous performance

TN Assembly Election (2016) in Erode East constituency - Won by 7,794 votes against DMK's Chandirakumar VC

What works

Retrieval of 'Two Leaves' symbol. Thennarasu has a remarkable track record in the previous polls he fought in this constituency.

What doesn't

The faction-hit AIADMK had very less time to dust off its "DMK's alternative" image as there are other players vying for anti-DMK votes.

ये भी प�ें- Erode bypolls: All arrangements in place, say officials

Menaka Navaneethan (NTK)

Making her electoral debut in this high-intensity election, Menaka Navaneethan has her work cut out. She is the deputy secretary of Naam Tamilar Katchi's Women wing. She has been working for the party since 2016. A graduate of Fashion Designing, Menaka currently works as a medical representative. She is married to Navaneethan and has a son named Arivan.

What works

Naam Tamilar Katchi highly banks on the women representation. Could capitalise on indecisive anti-DMK voters and augment its vote-share.

What doesn't

Seeman's recent comment on Arundhathiyar community and the resultant outcry has put the party on the backfoot and could dent into the party's votebank.

ये भी प�ें- Erode East, it's electoral arithmetic vs powerloom worker woes

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Akshay Kumar
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