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AIADMK announces by-election in-charges

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Press Trust of India Chennai
The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu Monday announced a list of leaders led by Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam as 'By-election In-charges' for 20 assembly constituencies, including those which have fallen vacant following disqualification of 18 party MLAs loyal to rival leader TTV Dhinakaran.
The 20 constituencies included Tiruvarur and Thiruparankundram, where by-polls are due following the recent death of sitting MLAs-late DMK chief M Karunanidhi and A K Bose of the AIADMK.
By-polls have not been announced for any of the segments so far.
Panneerselvam, the AIADMK Coordinator, will be the in-charge for Andipatti and Periakulam (SC)--both in Theni district, according to a statement issued by him and Chief Minister K Palaniswami, who is the Joint Coordinator.
AIADMK's move comes days after the Madras High Court upheld the disqualification of 18 party MLAs by Speaker P Dhanapal last year, after they expressed no confidence in Palaniswami and vacated a stay on conduct of by-elections to the constituencies.
The high court verdict had thrown open the doors for holding bypolls to the 18 constituencies, with both the AIADMK and its arch-rival DMK expressing confidence of winning the elections.
The Dhinakaran camp has also exuded confidence that it will retain all the 18 seats, this time from his Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK).
On October 25, Justice M Sathyanarayanan had heard the pleas of the rival parties after a bench of then Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar gave a split verdict on June 14.
On Monday, the AIADMK named senior Ministers including C Srinivasan (Forest), P Thangamani (Electricity) and C Vijayabaskar (Health), besides party's Propaganda Secretary and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai as election in-charge for all 20 seats facing by-poll.
Party MPs and MLAs are also part of the election teams for the respective Assembly segments.
Meanwhile, AIADMK Rajya Sabha MP R Vaithilingam said the party will start preparatory work for the by-poll in a day or two.
The senior leader said discussion on selection of candidates for the by-polls could be discussed only after the announcement of poll schedule by the Election Commission.
Speaking to reporters here, he said the AIADMK leadership has extended an invitation only to those "gone astray" to return to the party, apparently referring to the disqualified MLAs, but not Dhinakaran.

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First Published: Oct 29 2018 | 4:45 PM IST

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