Tamil Nadu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief K Annamalai on Friday called upon the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leaders O. Panneerselvam (OPS) and Edappadi K. Palaniswami (EPS), hours before announcing the party's stand on the upcoming Erode by-polls in the state.
Annamalai and the BJP's national General Secretary CT Ravi met the AIADMK leaders at their respective residences.
The election in Tamil Nadu's Erode (east) was necessitated after the death of Congress leader Thiru E Thirumahan Everaa. Hence, the Election Commission of India declared February 27, as the date for the contest of Erode by-polls.
It is pertinent to mention that Annamalai arrived from the national capital to Chennai on Thursday night and is likely to announce the party's (BJP) stand by today.
According to the sources, the BJP has decided to support EPS, however, they have requested a united EPS and OPS.
Ahead of the Erode East bye-polls, Annamalai held a meeting at Kamalalayam (the BJP state headquarters in Chennai) with State and District level functionaries on January 31 to make a final decision over the bye-election. The meeting was attended by several members of the party including BJP Legislative Leader Nainar Nagendran, state vice president Narayanan Thirupathy, former MP CP Radhakrishnan and former MLA H Raja among others.
According to sources, in the meeting, some functionaries pinned their views that Annamalai should contest on Erode East as AIADMK is waiting for a judgment on 'Two Leaves' case (party symbol). Though BJP senior leaders opined that BJP should work towards the 2024 general election.
However, Annamalai had previously said [while speaking with media at Coimbatore], "This is not the election for us." From Annamalai's statement, it suggested that BJP is not keen on contesting in the election.
Erode (East) Assembly bypoll is to be held on February 27, the last date of nomination is on February 7 and the result will be declared on March 2.
Notably, BJP's alliance partner AIADMK has planned to announce their candidate on February 5.
Both OPS and EPS factions of AIADMK have appeared keen on their candidate in the polls. They also went to state BJP headquarters to meet Annamalai on January 28 and discuss the Erode East bypoll in the state. The two factions also sought support from their alliance partner. (ANI)