Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], January 21 (ANI): In high drama ahead of the Erode (East) assembly bypoll scheduled to be held on February 27, O Panneerselvam on Saturday said that his faction would contest on the AIADMK's two-leaves symbol.
"O Panneerselvam faction of AIADMK to contest in Erode East assembly constituency by-election. I have full rights over AIADMK's two-leaves symbol as I am the party's coordinator," OPS said here while addressing the media.
As per the July 11 general council meeting of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, E Palaniswami has been elected as the interim general secretary of the party.
With the ECI not yet ratifying the AIADMK's July 11 general council meeting which abolished the dual leadership formula and appointed Edappadi K Palaniswami as interim general secretary, records with the poll agency still show expelled leader O Panneerselvam as the coordinator and EPS as joint coordinator.
However, the case related to the appointment of Edappadi K Panalaniswami as interim general secretary at the party's general body meeting is before the Supreme Court and the order is reserved.
The Election Commission on Wednesday announced a bypoll to the Erode (East) constituency in Tamil Nadu on February 27. The counting of votes will be done on March 2. The filing of nominations would start on January 31 and end on February 7.
Talking about the two-leaves symbol which still holds sway among the people, OPS said that he is ready to sign the B-form to get the symbol.
With the party's leadership issue now pending before the Supreme Court and the Election Commission of India (ECI), the AIADMK's official candidate won't get the Two Leaves symbol unless OPS and EPS sign on the B-form.
Panneerselvam further said that if the Bharatiya Janata Party or one of its allies wants to contest the elections, his faction would support the party.
"If BJP decides to contest the Erode East Assembly constituency bye-election, we will support it since it is a national party," he said.
The statement from OPS came a day after Edappadi K Palaniswami showed its interest to contest the elections.
In the 2021 Assembly polls, M Yuvaraja of Tamil Maanila Congress contested unsuccessfully on AIADMK's two leaves symbol against Everaa. In the 2021 local body polls, the BJP decided to contest alone.
The Erode (East) bypoll was necessitated due to the death of Congress MLA Thirumagan, the great-grandson of social reformer 'Periyar' EV Ramasamy and son of former Union minister EVKS Elangovan.
The bye-election will be an acid test for the AIADMK as the constituency falls in its bastion of western Tamil Nadu, where the DMK is making efforts to make inroads.
Meanwhile, DMK, the ruling party led by Chief Minister MK Stalin, has assigned the Erode East seat to Congress which is looking to retain the constituency, which is one of the 25 seats allotted to it in the DMK's Secular Progressive Alliance.
In the last elections, Congress won the seat defeating the Tamil Maanila Congress. (ANI)