TTV Dhinakaran, the nephew of V Sasikala, has won the RK Nagar assembly seat in Tamil Nadu by defeating his nearest rival by a margin of over 40,000 votes.
At the end of 19th round, Dhinakaran had received 89, 013 votes, while Mathusudhanan of the AIADMK had secured 48,306 votes. DMK’s Maruthuganesh was a distant third with 24, 651 votes.
Karu Nagarajan of BJP had polled 1,417 votes after the second round of counting. The NOTA with 2,373 votes had almost twice the number of votes than the BJP candidate. This is the state the saffron party claimed to have 50 lakh members through its missed call campaign.
Earlier today, Counting of votes for the RK Nagar by-poll had suffered a temporary disruption following an alleged altercation between supporters of independent candidate T T V Dhinakaran and AIADMK’s E Madhusudhanan.
A senior electoral official said “altercation caused disruption,” even as the two rival sides charged each other with roughing up counting agents.
Another official said police restored peace and that the second round of counting was on.
“Police restored peace, Nothing alarming. Compilation of the second round going on,” he said.
At the end of the first round, official AIADMK candidate Madhusudhanan was trailing sidelined party leader Dhinakaran by about 2,600 votes.
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.
The Election Commission had later directed the TV channels to take the video off air claiming that it will influence the voting pattern.
The result of RK Nagar assembly by-poll will also indicate as to who holds the legacy of late Jayalalithaa. In the battle for numbers, Sasikala, who’s currently serving jail sentence in corruption case, and her nephew Dhinakaran, had lost to the the ruling AIADMK.