File Photo: DMK chief M Karunanidhi
DMK today announced its candidate for the February 13 bypoll for the Srirangam seat, vacated by AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa following her conviction in a graft case.
DMK chief M Karunanidhi announced N Anand's candidature for the bypoll. He had unsuccessfully contested from the same constituency against Jayalalithaa in 2011.
The election could well turn out to be the report card for the ruling AIADMK and an exercise of self-assessment for opposition parties, including the BJP, which has announced its intentions to contest it, making it a three-cornered fight as on date.
After trouncing DMK in 2011 general elections, AIADMK has gone on a winning spree, coming out triumphant in all bypolls held since then, even as Jayalalithaa steered her party to another remarkable performance in last year's Lok Sabha polls, winning 37 of 39 seats in the state, routing her arch rival.
The Srirangam bypoll is keenly watched by political observers and the people of Tamil Nadu as it comes at a time when AIADMK is lying low with its supremo Jayalalithaa waging a legal battle in Karnataka High Court against her conviction.
The government, presently led by Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, has come under severe criticism from the opposition on many issues, including law and order, price-rise and power cut situation, even as the ruling party is harping on its near four-year performance which includes a series of populist schemes including free laptops and milch animals.
For DMK, the electoral result could help it define its strategy for next year's elections, even as the party prepares to face the polls under the 91 year-old Karunanidhi for yet another time.
BJP has also announced to test the waters by contesting the elections. Party President Amit Shah had during his Tamil Nadu visit recently, urged the workers to strive towards putting up a good show in the elections next year.