The Communist Party of India (CPI) will contest against Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the R.K. Nagar by-poll.. Leaders of the CPI and CPI(M) on Wednesday jointly announced the decision.
CPI state secretary R. Mutharasan told The Hindu that the party would name the candidate in a couple of days.
On reports that there was a proposal to field senior Communist leader and freedom fighter R. Nallakannu against Ms. Jayalalithaa, Mr. Mutharasan said the party had not finalised the candidate so far. The CPI(M) is also said to have asked the CPI to field a popular candidate in the by-poll.
One of the arguments forwarded in favour of Mr. Nallakannu is that his stature could lead to all political parties, staying away from the by-poll, to come forward and support him even though the Left parties are planning to chalk out their own path in Tamil Nadu elections.
CPI(M) State secretary G. Ramakrishnan said the Left parties had decided to contest to ensure that the by-poll does not go uncontested just because a high-profile candidate is in the field.
“It is a political fight, especially when Ms. Jayalalithaa, who is facing charges of amassing wealth disproportionate to her known sources of income, is the candidate of the ruling party,” he said.
The Election Commission and the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) are duty bound to ensure the elections are conducted in free and fair manner, Mr. Ramakrishnan said.