AIADMK, BJP tussle heats up as Tamil Nadu local body by-polls near

In a scathing attack against BJP, the CM J Jayalalithaa accused BJP for its double standards on the sensitive fishermen issue.

Written by Arun Janardhanan | Chennai | Published: September 15, 2014 1:37:37 pm

With the by-elections to Tamil Nadu local bodies nearing, tussle between the AIADMK and BJP has entered into its worst phase on Sunday with the top leaderships of both parties accusing and raising allegations that would possibly spoil the ‘good’ relationship that the state and centre maintained after the Lok Sabha elections.

In a scathing attack against BJP on Sunday, the Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa accused BJP for its double standards on the sensitive fishermen issue. Launching her campaign in Tuticorin as part of the Mayoral by-poll elections, she castigated the state BJP for condoning the statements of Subramanian Swamy wherin he had advised the Sri Lankan government not to release the boats of Tamil Nadu fishermen. “Both the state leadership and the central government had failed to counter his claims,” she said, accusing BJP’s double standards.

Meanwhile, in Coimbatore, union minister of state for heavy industries, Pon Radhakrishnan, has been meeting press reporters with evidences that claimed AIADMK has begun wooing voters by distributing cash in Coimbatore municipality. “AIADMK has grossly misused power and this election wont be free and fair,” he said, demanding the State Election Commission (SEC) to scrap the local body polls. Citing evidences of money distribution of misuse of powers, the party has already filed a complaint to the SEC.

Following the resignations of several AIADMK mayors elected in 2011; by-elections to several vacant local body posts and mayoral elections in Coimbatore, Tirunelveli and Tuticorin corporations are scheduled to be held on September 18th .

Ever since the elections were announced in TN, BJP under the new leadership has been facing a tough battle from the ruling party in the state. AIADMK candidates in at least five local body by-election seats were declared elected unopposed after BJP candidates withdrew from the race. Last week, the BJP’s nominee to contest the Tirunelveli mayoral election, G P R Vellaiammal, withdrew from the race and joined the AIADMK.

The BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajn alleged that several BJP candidates contesting in the local-body by elections are being either threatened or ‘bought over’ by the AIADMK. She accused AIADMK of abducting their candidates. Immediately after the AIADMK had released a press statement with a photograph of Vellaiammal and party general secretary Jayalalithaa announcing that the BJP candidate has joined AIADMK in the presence of Jayalalithaa.

On Sunday, in a new political move, BJP state president Tamilisai Soundararajan has urged the state Congress party to support BJP candidates in this local body by-elections, ‘to defeat the money and muscle power’ of AIADMK. Reports say that BJP is also likely to get support from DMK.

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