Expelled Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader and former Union Minister M K Alagiri could test his strength by contesting the byelections for the Thiruvarur Assembly seat, caused by the death of his father and DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi. This will be also a test of strength between Alagiri and his brother-cum-DMK president M K Stalin, whose leadership is being challenged by the former.
Tamil daily Dinamalar reported that Alagiri’s son Dayanidhi has instituted a survey in the Assembly constituency to find out the influence of his father among the electorates. Karunanidhi has been elected twice from Thiruvarur. Apart from Thiruvarur, byelections are also due from Thiruparankundram constituency following the death of A K Bose, an All India Anna DMK legislator.
Not just Alagiri, but even Amma Makkal Munntera Kazhagam formed by expelled AIADMK leader TTV Dinakaran, nephew of late Jayalalithaa’s aide Sasikala, would be testing its strength in both the constituencies.
Alagiri supporters contend that while anyone put up by their leader would fetch around 12 per cent votes, the former Union Minister can win hands down if he decides to contest from the constituency, with around 45 per votes. The supporters contend that if TTV Dinakaran could win RK Nagar Assembly by-elections without being aligned to any major party, then Alagiri, who has a considerable following in southern Tamil Nadu, could also win from the constituency. Stalin had reportedly told his cadre that the party should win the Thiruvarur Assembly seat ‘at any cost’.
The next couple of byelections in Tamil Nadu will witness a multi-cornered contest between the AIADMK, DMK, AMMK, Alagiri faction and other parties. Newly-formed Makkal Needhi Maiam could also be in the fray, though its founder and actor Kamal Haasan hasn’t said anything on this.
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