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Reddiarpatti V. Narayanan

M.R. Muthamizhselvan and Reddiarpatti V. Narayanan to contest in Vikravandi and Nanguneri constituencies

The ruling AIADMK will field M.R. Muthamizhselvan and Reddiarpatti V. Narayanan for the byelections to the Vikravandi and Nanguneri constituencies, respectively, scheduled to be held on October 21.

The announcement was made in a press release jointly issued by Deputy Chief Minister and party coordinator O. Panneerselvam and Chief Minister and party co-coordinator Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Wednesday.

Mr. Muthamizhselvan is the secretary of Kanai union in the Villupuram (north) district unit of the party, and Mr. Narayanan, the joint secretary of the Tirunelveli (suburban) district unit’s M.G.R. Mandram.

M.R. Muthamizhselvan

The party received applications from 90 persons and interviewed the aspirants on Monday.

There was no element of surprise in the selection of Mr. Muthamizhselvan as his name had been doing the rounds in party circles. But in respect of Nanguneri, the choice of Mr. Narayanan was unexpected as two former Members of Parliament — Paul Manoj Pandian and K.R.P. Prabhakaran — were also trying to get the party nomination, sources said.

When asked whether the byelections to the Vikravandi and Nanguneri Assembly constituencies will pose a huge challenge to the ruling party in the light of the drubbing it faced in the recent Lok Sabha polls, Mr. Palaniswami said he was confident that his party will emerge the victor.

He recalled how the AIADMK did “exceedingly well” in the Vellore Parliamentary poll, held a couple of months after the Lok Sabha election. Not only did the margin of defeat come down, but the party had also obtained a higher number of votes than the DMK in three segments of the Vellore constituency, the CM said.

Citing the case of the Gudiyatham Assembly constituency, where the DMK won a bypoll in April by a margin of around 28,000 votes, he noted that the AIADMK, however, got about 12,000 votes there during the Vellore Lok Sabha election — higher than the DMK’s vote share.

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