RK Nagar bypoll and TTV Dhinakaran
Chennai:In a jolt to the ruling AIADMK, sidelined leader TTV Dhinakaran on Sunday won the prestigious Radhakrishnan Nagar (RK Nagar) Assembly bypoll by a thumping margin of over 40,000 votes.
Dhinakaran, nephew of jailed leader VK Sasikala, defeated his nearest rival E Madhusudhanan of the AIADMK by 40,707 votes, officials announced as the counting of votes ended. Polling for the seat was held on December 21.
The bypoll in the Assembly constituency was necessitated following the death of J Jayalalithaa in December last. The late Tamil Nadu CM was elected from the RK Nagar seat in north Chennai.
Dhinakaran bettered the record of Jayalalithaa, who had won by a margin of 39,545 votes in the 2016 Assembly polls.
Following are some of key facts about him:
After the revolt by Chief Minister K Palaniswami, Dhinakaran has vowed to unseat the regime, accusing him of having betrayed the faith reposed in him by jailed party leader and Sasikala.
He was handpicked by Sasikala to lead the party when she went to the Parapana Agrahara Jail in Bengaluruto serve a four year jail term in a disproportionate assets case in February 2017.
Dhinakaran was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1999 from Periyakulam and to the Rajya Sabha in 2004.
He was said to be a key player in party appointments and during parleys with allies at the time of elections.
However, his sudden emergence as party deputy general secretary slowly ruffled feathers and Palaniswami teamed up with then rival leader and now Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam to form the main bloc of AIADMK which now has the ‘two leaves’ symbol.
In April May last, Dhinakaran went through a rough patch with the Delhi Police arresting him for allegedly trying to bribe Election Commission officials to get the ‘two leaves’ symbol. Among others, he also faces a FERA case.
Eighteen of his loyalist MLAs were disqualified by Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal months ago and a case in this regard is pending before the Madras High Court.
Post the merger of the factions led by CM Palaniswami and now his deputy O Panneerselvam, a general council meeting of AIADMK in September had annulled the appointment of Sasikala as the party general secretary and all subsequent appointments/removals made by her, including that of Dhinakaran.
54 year old Dhinakaran has been asserting that party cadres were with him and he was led by ‘Chinnamma Sasikala’, a true successor to ‘Amma’.
In about two decades, he is the first independent candidate to be elected in Tamil Nadu and that too with such a huge margin scoring higher than that of Jayalalithaa in 2016 Assembly polls.
In that election, Jayalalithaa had won by a margin of 39,545 votes defeating DMK nominee Shimla Muthuchozhan. While Jayalalithaa secured 97,218 votes, the DMK candidate 57,673 votes.