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    DMK snubs Alagiri ahead of bypoll

    CHENNAI: No recommendations would be entertained during the candidate interview for the party ticket for Sankarankoil byelection scheduled for February 17, the DMK high command said here on Tuesday.Political commentators view this to be a diktat to the south zone organising secretary M K Alagiri. According to a statement issued by general secretary K Anbalagan, the candidate in-terview will be chaired by party chief M Karunanidhi at Anna Arivalayam at 4 pm. “Apart from candidates, the party’s Tirunelveli district unit functionaries and the local body functionaries responsible for Sankarankoil assembly constituency were also invited by the party high-command,” the statement said. “Supporter or nominator escorts to candidates will not be allowed during the interview,” it said. Party sources said that there were 41 applicants seeking party tickets thus far. Rasiah alias S Raja, who lost to C Karuppasamy of the AIADMK in 1996 in a margin of 600 votes, was said to have been the favourite of the DMK party chief. Karuppasamy, who had been elected from this constituency since then, died due to a brief illness on October 22 last necessitating the election. Sources added that Jawahar Suriya from Tirunelveli would be the next major contender. He is a supporter of Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Alagiri.