Chennai: The low-key campaign marked by
charges and counter charges of land grabbing by arch-rivals
AIADMK and DMK for the October 13 Tiruchrappalli West assembly
byelections ended Tuesday.
The ruling AIADMK would be facing an acid test in the
bypolls, the first since the April 13 elections to the Tamil
Nadu Assembly which it had swept. The seat fell vacant due to
the death of Minister Mariam Pitchai in a road mishap.
Dumping their allies, AIADMK and DMK are locked in a direct
fight in the bypoll in which 16 candidates are in fray.
The arch-rivals DMK chief M Karunanidhi and Chief Minister
Jayalalithaa had themselves plunged into the campaign
indicating the seriousness they attached to the bypoll.
Both Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa have traded charges on
land grabbing with the government cracking down on several DMK
leaders putting them behind the bars.
The bypolls also saw the end of the alliance stitched by
the AIADMK for the assembly elections as the DMDK of actor
Vijaykant, Left parties and some caste and Dalit outfits
walked out following their failure to reach seat sharing
agreement with it for the civic polls in the state.
The DMK-Congress alliance also met a similar fate with
their alliance partners staying away from the bypoll scene.
AIADMK has fielded former MLA M Paramjothy, who
represented neighbouring Srirangam, now held by Jayalalithaa,
while DMK has gone for its former minister K N Nehru, arrested
on land grabbing charges. Nehru was defeated by Pitchai by
over 7000 votes in the April elections.
Jayalalithaa has deputed a team of over 20 ministers and
MPs for election work. Karunanidhi`s son and DMK Treasurer M K
Stalin, who filed Nehru`s papers, led the campaign for his