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Requested OPS to support EPS' candidate for Erode bypolls, says BJP Tamil Nadu chief

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Bharatiya Janata Party state president on Saturday said that his party has requested O Panneerselvam to support Edappadi Palaniswami's candidate in the upcoming Erode (East) bypoll in Tamil Nadu.
Addressing a press conference in Chennai, Annamalai said that the BJP won't contest the by-polls but would support the candidate from AIADMK. The Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS) faction of the AIADMK has fielded KS Thennarasu as its candidate for the seat, while its OPS faction has fielded T Senthilmurugan for contesting from the same seat.
Extending its support to the EPS candidate Thennarasu, Tamil Nadu's BJP chief said that they want someone who is well-known in the constituency to contest the election.
"A candidate who is well known in the constituency, EPS candidate KS Thennarasu is a two-time MLA and we want someone who will be the right person to win. We requested O Panneerselvam to also support the Edappadi Palaniswami's candidate," Annamalai said adding that they won't interfere to the "inter-party issue" but would prefer OPS to withdraw the name of the candidate from his faction.
"No interference by us in the AIADMK inter-party issue...BJP prefers that O Panneerselvam withdraw his candidate," he said.
The bye-election in Erode (east) is scheduled to take place on February 27, as the death of Congress leader Thiru E Thirumahan Everaa necessitated them. Accordingly, Tuesday, February 7 is the last day to file nominations for contesting polls here.
After meeting the leaders of both factions in AIADMK, Annamalai on Friday said a united National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and a 'united' AIADMK are much needed to defeat the "Theeya Sakthi" (evil force) of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).
"We have asked them [OPS and EPS] to work unitedly to defeat DMK for the Tamilians. We also tried to convince them to stay united," Annamalai said addressing a press conference with BJP's national General Secretary CT Ravi at Kamalalayam in Chennai on Friday.
For the first time, the BJP had openly admitted to making attempts to unite the AIADMK, as earlier they used to term the latter's conflict their "internal matter".
The AIADMK has been following a dual-leadership formula with EPS as co-coordinator and OPS as coordinator. since the demise of former Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa in 2016. The clamour for leadership has been growing louder for a single leader in the party since the district secretary meeting on June 14, 2022.
As of July 11, 2022, at the general council meeting of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Edappadi K Palaniswami was elected as the interim general secretary of the party.
Notably, the Supreme Court has asked the AIADMK party General Council to pass a resolution related to a candidate who will represent the party in the upcoming bye-elections of Erode (East) constituency in Tamil Nadu. It also permitted expelled three members of the party including O Panneerselvam (OPS) to also vote in the General Council.
In a development to this, EPS had circulated an affidavit to get the endorsement of General Council members for former MLA Thiru. K.S. Thennarasu as their preferred candidate for the Erode (east) by-polls.
As per the officials, the documents will be duly signed by the Presidium Chairman Tamilmagan Hussain and will be duly submitted before the Election Commission by Monday. (ANI)

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