We are ready to enter the fray in Erode (East), awaiting BJP’s response to announce candidate, says J.C.D. Prabhakar
‘We are keen on proving that we represent the Kazhagam [AIADMK] genuinely and consider the bypoll an occasion to gain the public’s confidence’
The group led by the AIADMK’s deposed coordinator, O. Panneerselvam, views the Erode (East) bypoll as an opportunity to demonstrate that the party’s workers and people are with it, according to J.C.D. Prabhakar, deputy coordinator of the group.
Asked whether the aim of the group was to ensure a severe drubbing for the AIADMK, Mr. Prabhakar on Saturday told The Hindu, “We are keen on proving that we represent the Kazhagam [AIADMK] genuinely. We are not concerned with the number of votes that will be secured by Edappadi K. Palaniswami [AIADMK] or T.T.V. Dhinakaran [AMMK]. We consider the bypoll an occasion to gain the public’s confidence.”
Mr. Prabhakar, a two-time legislator of Villivakkam, however, hastened to add that his group was, as of now, waiting for the response of the BJP to the offer of support made by Mr. Panneerselvam. In case the national party did not enter the fray, the group leader would announce the name of the candidate.
To another question on whether the presence of his group, Mr. Palaniswami’s faction and the AMMK would lead to the fragmentation of anti-DMK votes, the former legislator replied, “As the people do not want any split in the anti-DMK votes, they will vote for Annan OPS [Mr. Panneerselvam] who, they regard, as the rallying point of all such votes. When there are two-cornered or three-cornered contests, voters choose the most eligible to take on the ruling dispensation.”
When asked if the upcoming byelection would be an exception to the norm in Tamil Nadu that, invariably, candidates of the ruling party or its allies won in bypolls, Mr. Prabhakar said the DMK regime, in the 20 months of its existence, had earned the “maximum dissatisfaction of the public and even among members of the ruling party.”
“This will make us romp home,” he added.
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