Dhinakaran wins RK Nagar bypoll in big blow for ruling AIADMK

Dhinakaran is the nephew of Jayalalithaa's close aide Sasikala. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India Dec 24, 2017, 12.26 PM (IST)

Sidelined AIADMK leader and independent candidate TTV Dhinakaran has won the RK Nagar bypoll beating his rival, AIADMK's E Madhusudhanan by over 40,000 votes.

Dhinakaran defeated his nearest rival E Madhusudhanan of the AIADMK by 40,707 votes, officials announced as the counting of votes ended. 

Dhinakaran, nephew of Jayalalithaa's close aide Sasikala won 89,013 votes. Madhusudhanan, the candidate of the O Panneerselvam (OPS) and E Palaniswami (EPS) ruling AIADMK won 48,306 votes. The DMK was represented by N Marudhu Ganesh who won 24,651 votes while Karu Nagarajan was the BJP candidate and won 1,417 votes.

The results will come as a big blow to the ruling AIADMK since five-time former chief minister Jayalalithaa won her last two elections from RK Nagar.

The seat fell vacant after Jayalalithaa's death last year. 

Dhinakaran bettered the record of Jayalalithaa, who had won by a margin of 39,545 votes in the 2016 Assembly polls.

After the results, Dhinakaran said he was confident that the ruling AIADMK government would not last for more than two more months.

"It's a victory for all. This government will not be here for two more months. Two leaves symbol was a victory symbol when it was with amma (Jayalalithaa). But now it's with villains, how can they win," Dhinakaran said after his victory.

Tamil Nadu chief minister-led K Palaniswami camp was allotted the AIADMK's "two leaves" symbol by the Election Commission on grounds that enjoyed a majority in the party's legislative and organisational wings. Dhinakaran contested as an independent on the pressure cooker symbol. 

Earlier, as results showed him emerging victorious, Dhinakaran said the thumping majority received by him was an indication of "where the party symbol and the party will remain."

Dhinakaran said that he believed that the ruling AIADMK government would go in the next three months.

"RK Nagar was represented by 'Amma'. The thumping majority which the voters have given is an indication where the party symbol and the party will remain. I thank the people of RK Nagar and party workers who have shown massive support for me," TTV Dhinakaran said in Madurai.

"I firmly believe that it is time for this government to go, and in the coming 3 months you will see this government go," he said.

The RK Nagar by-elections were held on Thursday, with voter turnout recorded at 77.68 per cent.

The election commission said the turnout was the highest figure since 2011.

The by-election was actually scheduled for April this year but was postponed after allegations surfaced of voters being bribed. 

The EPS and OPS factions had merged in August this year after deposing Dhinakaran and Sasikala, who is serving a four-year jail term in a Bengaluru prison in a corruption case.

(With inputs from agencies)

Story highlights

The results will come as a big blow to the ruling AIADMK led by Edappadi K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam since five-time former chief minister Jayalalithaa won her last two elections from RK Nagar ||Dhinakaran bettered the record of Jayalalithaa, who had won by a margin of 39,545 votes in 2016