Days after the Election Commission announced bye-polls to four pending assembly seats in Tamil Nadu, the DMK has announced its candidates for the race. On Saturday, a statement from DMK President MK Stalin said Pongalur N Palaniswami will contest from Sulur, P Saravanan from Thiruparankundram and MC Shanmugaiah from Ottapidaram. Former Aravakurichi MLA V Senthil Balaji, who abandoned TTV Dhinakaran for the DMK, has been given a ticket to seek re-election from the constituency.
V Senthil Balaji of Aravakurichi and R Kandaraj of Ottapidaram constituencies were disqualified by the Madras High Court in June last year along with 16 of their colleagues under the Anti-Defection law. They had extended their support to ousted AIADMK Deputy General Secretary, now AMMK leader and RK Nagar MLA TTV Dhinakaran. In what came as a jolt for Dhinakaran in December last year, former Tamil Nadu Transport Minister and close aide Senthil Balaji formally joined the DMK. The MLA has been given the chance to be re-elected from the Aravakurichi seat by his new party.
Pongalur N Palanisamy, who has been given the ticket to contest from Sulur is a former MLA from Coimbatore East. He had also served as the DMK's Rural Industries and Animal Husbandry Minister between 2006 and 2011.
Bye-polls to these four constituencies will he held on May 19, nearly a month after the Lok Sabha and 18 bye-elections to be held on April 18. The EC announcement to hold polls on Tuesday came even as the DMK moved the Supreme Court over conducting three of four assembly bye-polls: Aravakurichi, Thiruparankundram and Ottapidaram(SC). These seats were vacant after the 18 MLAs were disqualified. The EC had not announced polls here citing cases pending in court.
AIADMK MLA R Kanagaraj of the ruling party passed away after a cardiac arrest in March this year necessitating bye-polls to the Sulur assembly constituency.
The results for all three sets of elections-- Lok Sabha and 18 bye-polls on April 18, four pending bye-polls on May 19-- would be announced on May 23.