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Why AIADMK, DMK are Focused on Winning Bypolls to 18 Constituencies in Tamil Nadu

The AIADMK has to win at least four of the 18 constituencies to ensure that it completes its five-year-term.

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:March 10, 2019, 11:54 PM IST
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Why AIADMK, DMK are Focused on Winning Bypolls to 18 Constituencies in Tamil Nadu
File photo of Tamil Nadu CM E Palaniswami (right) and his deputy O Panneerselvam.
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Chennai: The Election Commission on Sunday announced the dates for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, but the AIADMK and the DMK are more concerned about winning the bypolls for the 18 constituencies that will decide who will rule Tamil Nadu.

The AIADMK has to win at least four of the 18 constituencies to ensure that it completes its five-year-term.

The AIADMK has already made it clear that both the BJP and the PMK will support the ruling party in the bypolls. The DMK, on the other hand, interviewed candidates for the bypolls on Saturday.

Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer said bypolls for the remaining constituencies have been postponed as there are legal cases pending
for the constituencies. The three constituencies that won't go to bypolls are Aravakuruchi, Ottapidaram and Thiruparakundram.

Three independents who contested under the AIADMK symbol for the 2016 Assembly polls have been switching sides between the EPS-OPS camp. The TTV camp has said that it will support the AIADMK government till the end of its term.

The ruling AIADMK has managed to survive as the 18 MLAs who pledged their support to TTV Dhinakaran have been disqualified. Two MLAs, including Karunanidhi, passed away and those two seats are vacant. Another former minister and an AIADMK MLA P Balakrishna Reddy was disqualified in January this year after he was convicted in a 1998 arson case for damaging public property.

There are 21 seats that are vacant so far. The DMK hopes to win a majority in the bypolls to topple the AIADMK government.

A top AIADMK minister told CNN-News 18 that the prime focus for the AIADMK is the bypolls and not the Lok Sabha elections.

"Our party has never played a significant role at the Centre whether we swept the LS polls or lost there. In 2014, we swept the LS polls and won 37 of the 39 constituencies but our party had no power at the Centre. So, we are only focusing on bypolls as it will be a make or break for us. The reason why we wanted the PMK more was to ensure that we do well in the Northern Tamil Nadu constituencies where the PMK has more vote bank," added the source

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