India

Erode bypolls: BJP backs EPS’s choice of candidate, asks OPS to support decision

Tamil Nadu BJP State chief K Annamalai said the party has appealed to both the AIADMK leaders, EPS and OPS, to face the election as one solid force and defeat the DMK-backed Congress candidate.

New Delhi,UPDATED: Feb 5, 2023 04:22 IST

Tamil Nadu BJP State chief K Annamalai denied that his party was interfering in the internal affairs of the AIADMK (Photo: Representational)

By Press Trust of India: The BJP on Saturday said it is keen on supporting the candidate nominated by AIADMK interim general secretary K Palaniswami, and it has asked the O Panneerselvam faction to support its decision for the February 27 bypoll to the Erode east Assembly constituency.

Making the party’s stand with regard to the byelection and alliance clear, Tamil Nadu BJP State chief K Annamalai said the party has appealed to both the AIADMK leaders to face the election as one solid force and defeat the DMK-backed Congress candidate.

“We have urged Panneerselvam to support Palaniswami’s candidate (K S Thennarasu, former MLA) and work together to retain the AIADMK’s ‘Two Leaves’ symbol and contest,” Annamalai said. Denying that his party was interfering in the internal affairs of the AIADMK, he told reporters here that the BJP wanted its ally to remain united and strong to defeat the DMK-led combine.

ALSO READ | Erode bypolls: AIADMK leaders miffed with BJP’s call for unity

He said the BJP had conveyed to the two leaders in a leadership tussle that the saffron party did not want to contest the bypoll. “We want our ally to remain strong… we don’t want to grow at the cost of somebody’s weakness,” Annamalai said.

Panneerselvam indicated that he would support the move but laid down certain conditions, he said without divulging them. “I hope the two factions would sort out the differences soon,” Annamalai said.

ALSO READ | Annamalai, CT Ravi meet Palaniswami as Tamil Nadu BJP yet to clarify stance on Erode bypoll

ALSO READ | Erode bypolls: Tamil Nadu BJP lodges complaint against DMK for election code ‘violation’


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