In a significant development, TTV Dhinakaran, the nephew of V Sasikala, won the RK Nagar assembly seat in Tamil Nadu on Sunday by defeating his nearest rival by a margin of over 40,000 votes.
The victory signalled the mood of the voters in favour of Sasikala faction, which was sidelined by the ruling AIADMK after the jailing of Sasikala in corruption charges.
The by-poll here had become a prestige battle after the two warring factions of the AIADMK came together to alienate Sasikala and Dhinakaran. Dhinakaran had unsuccessfully staked his claim for the AIADMK party symbol of two leaves, since the Election Commission awarded that to the AIADMK faction led by the Chief Minister E Palaniswami and his deputy Panneerselvam.
Against Dhinakaran, the ruling AIADMK had fielded veteran Mathusudhanan, who had represented this seat before J Jayalalithaa won from here twice. Mathusudhanan enjoys considerable support of the large Telugu population.
The AIADMK had also raised the issue of Jayalalithaa’s death during the campaign alleging foul play by Sasikala. However, just two days before the poll, a video of the late Tamil Nadu chief minister being treated at the hospital had surfaced.
As the counting progressed, everybody’s attention shifted from Dhinakaran, whose victory was certain after just few rounds of counting, to the BJP’s performance. BJP candidate securing less than even the NOTA (None Of The Above) option became a butt of social media joke. The BJP’s abysmal performance in the southern Indian state assumed significance in light of the party’s claim that it had enrolled over 50 lakh members through its missed call drive.
In the end, NOTA received 2,203 votes, while the BJP secured 1236 votes.
Here are some of the reactions;
World’s biggest missed call party – who received more than 50 lakhs missed call in TN but received only 1417 votes which is less than 2373 Nota votes, Hope they can digest Uttapam with TN toppings. #RKNagarElectionResult
— Jignesh Mevani (@jigneshmevani80) December 25, 2017
— Shabbir Ahmed (@Ahmedshabbir20) December 24, 2017
— Abdul ✋? (@GuruJiPolitical) December 24, 2017
If there is one corner of India where Modi Shah election magic just doesn’t seem to work it is TN. At last count, NOTA 102 and BJP 66 in RK Nagar. #RKNagarElectionResult
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) December 24, 2017
— Keerthi? (@TheDesiEdge) December 24, 2017
Tamilnadu is the only State To Teach Lessons To BJP!
That Proud Moment?#RKNagarElectionResult
— Nandhini subramanian (@Nandhinisp) December 24, 2017
— Suryah (@Suryahrc) December 24, 2017
Modi magic working
Bjp giving tough fight to Nota
— संदीप?? (@kumarsandeepba3) December 24, 2017
Bjp 6 votes in first round.. haha tamilnadu teaching a good lesson #RKNagarElectionResult
— R.R.Sivaraaam (@RRsivaraam) December 24, 2017
NOTA leading BJP in #RKNagarElectionResult .This has again proven that TN is not the place for communal parties like BJP. Don’t be the clowns and spoil your parties name. Better don’t contest in any election inside TN. Dear BJP TN is not the place for you.
— vaideesh (@vaideesh1) December 24, 2017