DMK names candidate for Yercaud assembly bypoll

Chennai, Oct 11 (IANS) The DMK Friday became the first party to announce its candidate for the Yercaud constituency by-election to the Tamil Nadu assembly Dec 4.

Speaking to reporters here, DMK president M.Karunanidhi said the party has decided to field V. Maran as its candidate after interviewing 42 aspirants, including five women.

The party's announcement comes after Karunanidhi wrote to leaders of all major political parties in the state like the Congress, DMDK, PMK, Bharatiya Janata Party, the two Left parties and others, calling for support for the DMK's candidate.

However, the two Left parties rejected Karunanidhi's appeal, while the PMK had earlier announced that it would not have any truck with the AIADMK or the DMK.

Meanwhile, suspense continues as to whether the DMDK, the principal opposition party in the assembly, would contest the bypoll.

The by-election in the hill station, around 360 km from here, has been necessitated after sitting AIADMK legislator C. Perumal died in July. This led to the AIADMK's strength in the 235-member assembly coming down to 150. The DMDK is the second largest party in the assembly with 29, followed by the DMK with 23.

This will be the fourth by-election in Tamil Nadu after the AIADMK came to power in May 2011. The ruling party won in all three earlier by-elections in Pudukottai, Sankarankoil and Tiruchirapalli (West) constituencies.

According to the Election Commission's poll schedule, nominations for Yercaud by-poll could be filed Nov 9-16 and the scrutiny of the papers would be held Nov 18. The last date for withdrawal of nomination is Nov 20.

The poll is slated for Dec 4, and vote counting would be held on Dec 8 -- the same date when ballots cast in the elections to five state assemblies would be counted.

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