BJP today entered the fray for the February 13 Assembly byelection to prestigious Srirangam seat, earlier held by AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa, fielding a candidate on behalf of NDA, making it a multi-cornered contest.
Tamil Nadu unit BJP Vice-President M Subramaniam, an educationist based in Tiruchirappalli, is the candidate for the election, being held to fill the vacancy caused by the disqualification of AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa following her four-year jail term in the disproportionate assets case.
Jayalaithaa has gone for a woman candidate in S Valarmathi, while DMK re-nominated N Anand, who lost to the former Chief Minister in the 2011 polls.
Announcing the candidature of Subramaniam here, BJP Tamil Nadu unit President Tamilisai Soundararajan said he had the backing of NDA partners DMDK led by actor-turned politician Vijaykanth, IJK, Kongunadu Makkal Desiya Katchi and New Justice Party.
PMK, another partner of the combine formed for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in the state, has recently announced it would neither contest nor support any other party in the bypoll.
Nomination of Subramaniam, who has been in the party for the past 20 years, is seen as a recognition of his organisational skills, especially in view of his key role in staging the well-attended party conference in Tiruchirappalli in 2013 which was addressed by Narendra Modi.
"This byelection will demonstrate that the NDA will play an important role in Tamil Nadu politics," Soundararajan told reporters here.
"He is a clean candidate. We hope lotus (BJP symbol) will create a turning point in politics through the Srirangam election," she hoped.
Corruption free, growth-oriented regime should emerge in Tamil Nadu as well. "We will tell the people that this bypoll has been necessitated only as a result of conviction in a graft case," she said giving ample indications that her party would target the AIADMK.
She said PMK and all other political parties opposed to corruption should support the NDA nominee.